McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says that the team has been missing a driver with Daniel Ricciardo’s pedigree.
The Aussie will be joining the British outfit at the end of this season, replacing Carlos Sainz who is heading to Ferrari.
Sainz and Lando Norris have proved to be a hugely successful partnership for the team, but Seidl feels that, with his record, Ricciardo can push Norris and the team even further.
“Definitely, that’s also something I’m looking forward to – in the end, we want this competition also – and that’s also one reason why I was very happy that we actually could manage to get Daniel on board,” he told Channel 4.
“Because clearly we have a great driver line-up now with Carlos and Lando, but what we’re missing at the moment is simply the reference of a driver that has shown in the past with the right material that he can win races.
“And if you see also what Daniel has done this year in the Renault I’m really looking forward to having him on board and to see how he performs with us.
“And also for Lando, I think it’s important to get this reference within the team, and I’m sure that with both we can have a great future.”
Ferrari’s terrible 2020 season has opened up the chance for one of the midfield teams to claim a top-three finish in the Constructors’ Championship.
McLaren, Racing Point and Renault have been fighting over the position all season, and it now looks like Seidl’s team will prevail.
From a financial perspective though, it won’t affect next season.
“The business plan we have in place for next year it doesn’t have an impact, because we never expected in the business plan for next year that we could fight for P3 this year,” he added.
“So we’re not depending on that money short-term. We have a clear plan to run at the budget cap next year so I think together with the power unit change, Daniel coming in, I think we’re in a good position to take the next step as a team which is the most important thing for me because that’s key to get at some point closer to the front in Formula 1.”
With just two races to go, McLaren currently leads Racing Point by 17 points.