Daniel Ricciardo and Button Slyly Plot to Tease Ricciardo’s McLaren Engineer Over His ‘Failure’ at the Olympics

Published 02/11/2021, 2:00 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 smiles at the livery launch of the Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


Daniel Ricciardo and Jenson Button possess one thing in common, and that is working with McLaren race engineer Tom Stallard. The Australian driver will get an opportunity to bond with the latter even more through the 2021 F1 season.

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Stallard has previously worked with the likes of Sainz, Stoffel Vandoorne as well. However, he shared an incredible relationship with Button, who stayed at the team for nearly eight seasons.

But little do people know that Mr. Stallard was also a professional athlete in the sport of rowing. In a recent vlog courtesy of Ricciardo, he and Button discussed an important highlight in Stallard’s rowing career.

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Stallard had achieved a silver medal in rowing at the 2008 Olympics

Ricciardo started off by saying, “I’m taking on actually, he sends his regards, Mr. Stallard. So he’s my engineer.”

Button then asked Ricciardo if he had talked to Stallard about the latter’s Olympics story. The McLaren driver said, “I’m building up to it. I’m keeping that one in the back pocket.”

Button gave further context and stated, “I have told you before, but he was very proud to get a silver at the Olympics in rowing. He was in the eighth, so you kind of aren’t doing as much as the people in the one or two I guess!”

“But they were the only British team that year that didn’t get a gold. So all the other teams, all the other partnerships got a gold, and he got a silver. So it’s kind of a failure!” Ricciardo concluded by adding, “Yeah, I’ll let him know that!”

Relationship with Stallard key for Daniel Ricciardo to achieve any success at McLaren

It has often been said that F1 requires teamwork, with special emphasis on the driver-engineer understanding. The race engineer lets the driver know aspects he might not about himself or the car whilst on the track, which makes for an important position in the team.

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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images)

Similarly, Ricciardo will quickly want to build a strong bonding with Stallard, as McLaren look intent on retaining their P3 with more podiums to add to this season. The Woking-based outfit will believe that the Australian has got what it takes to deliver results.

Therefore, expect the cheerful Daniel Ricciardo to claim some amount of success in 2021. While doing so, one would do well to remember Stallard’s contributions behind the scenes.

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MORE – McLaren CEO Zak Brown Explains How F1 Can Avoid a ‘Burn-Out’ With ‘Brutal’ Calendar

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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