Gil de Ferran has welcomed the imminent arrival of Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren from Renault as the Aussie prepares to replace Carlos Sainz.
Sainz is Ferrari bound after the Scuderia and Sebastian Vettel decided to go their separate ways after the end of the 2020 season.
But before Ferrari confirmed Sainz’s signature, McLaren moved even quicker to announce that Ricciardo would be making the jump from Renault to partner Lando Norris from next year.
De Ferran, who was appointed sporting director of McLaren F1 in 2018 in a raft of personnel changes and now heads up McLaren’s IndyCar project, thinks that the Ricciardo/McLaren combination has all the makings of a successful relationship.
“My opinion is a personal one, but Daniel is very fast and has won and competed for Formula 1 championships,” de Ferran is quoted as having told Globo Esporte’s Na Ponta dos Dedos podcast.
“These days I am a little further away so it’s hard to know what Andreas Seidl intends, but I know Zak Brown well, I worked with him a lot, and I think that Ricciardo fits.
“You never know 100 percent, but I think Daniel will fit in well with the team.”
Formula 1 racing is on the horizon again with the season set to start with two races in Austria in early July. However, it won’t quite be the same as the first eight European events of the revised schedule will all be held behind closed doors.
But de Ferran, now watching Stateside where racing has already resumed, thinks just some form of Formula 1 racing will be a very welcome addition.
“I think they [the owners] have done their best in the circumstances,” he said.
“Nascar has already done some races and we’ve done one, and the reception in the United States was positive.”