McLaren fans have plenty to get excited about ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo trialled his new team’s car for the first time on Wednesday, and the 31-year-old was immediately impressed with what he saw.
The MCL35M made its highly-anticipated debut in wet conditions at Silverstone, with McLaren releasing footage of Ricciardo’s first drive in the car to their YouTube channel.
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“Pretty good stuff,” he said after a couple of corners, letting out a yelp of excitement.
“Feels fast, been a while.”
Ricciardo’s trademark sense of humour was also on display in the three-minute clip, at one stage taking his hand off the wheel to wave at a nearby drone.
“Hi drone,” he said, presumably with a smirk.
As he returned to the pit lane, Ricciardo muttered: “That was fun.”
Great to be back at track today as a team to see the first running of the @McLarenF1 #MCL35M. #SendIt pic.twitter.com/wqmD4GThZy
Flying Honey Badger. #SendIt 🔥👊 pic.twitter.com/iSUWHVt8IM
However, Ricciardo’s attempt to get comfortable in his new ride hit an immediate hitch as he struggled to even fit in the seat.
The Aussie’s hips were the problem, preventing him from sitting correctly in the chassis.
Ricciardo will partner with British young gun Lando Norris in his maiden season at McLaren, the season opener scheduled for March 28th at Bahrain.
The Perth driver’s two-year stint with Renault was relatively underwhelming, but he found some long-awaited success towards the end of the 2020 season, snaring two podiums.
He will replace Carlos Sainz at McLaren in 2021, with the Spanish driver poised to make his debut for the legendary Ferrari team this year.
You won’t see Daniel Ricciardo in yellow this season.Source:Getty Images
“There are things Carlos is going to be better at than Daniel and vice-versa,” Norris said this week, as reported by Firstpost.
“I don’t believe Daniel is a big step above anything that Carlos has achieved, and there is more pressure on him because he has been in Formula One for longer and he has to come in and perform very well.
“It is harder for someone to go up against a much younger driver than it is for a younger driver going up against someone with more experience.
“I am in that earlier phase of my career, but I still need to perform very well, and there are no excuses for me anymore.
“I have more responsibility on me now than the past few years to lead the team.
“It is a big opportunity for me to take up that lead, and I will work very hard on doing that.”
McLaren’s British driver Lando Norris (R) and Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo.Source:AFP
McLaren boss Zak Brown expects Ricciardo and Norris to ditch the “goofy odd couple” act when it comes down to business.
“They are both out to prove something,” Brown said earlier this month.
“Daniel is at the stage of his career where he wants to fight for a world championship. I don’t think we will be able to do that this year, but hopefully we will in the future.
“And Lando is no longer the ‘younger brother’ of his teammate and so I think we are going to see two extremely fast racing drivers with personalities, but once they are in the garage it will all be business.”
Meanwhile, Ricciardo got his hands on the ultimate company car, showing off the McLaren 765LT on social media.
The F1 star also unveiled the head protector he’ll be donning in his maiden season at McLaren, the design bringing attention to one of Australia’s leading mental health service providers.
ALL GOOD / ALL WAYS. 2021 helmet. pic.twitter.com/qLaBw0Z4wN
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