McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has said he is “hungry” to get back in the car after recovering from a bout of Covid that ruled him out of Bahrain testing.
The Australian’s time in the car has been limited having missed the entirety of the second testing event, but he has recovered in time to be ready for this weekend’s opening race in Bahrain.
The extent of his illness with Covid has not been revealed but he said he was able to keep in touch with the team despite his illness.
“I’m glad to be back, feeling better and ready for the Bahrain Grand Prix and season ahead,” he told the McLaren website.
“I was disappointed to not be in the car last week but despite being unwell, I’ve been able to keep in touch with the team, chat to Lando [Norris] about the car and prepare as best as I can for the race weekend.
“I want to maximise the free practice sessions to better understand the car and fine tune everything ready for qualifying and lights out on Sunday.”
Better this week than next…
Unfortunate to miss the test, but I’m starting to feel better. I’ll stay isolated and just focus on next weekend.
Big thanks to Lando & McLaren for the heavy lifting, I owe you some beers (milk for Lando).
Appreciate the well wishes from everyone.
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) March 11, 2022
The 32-year-old is looking to impress this season having struggled to master the McLaren car in the 2021 season. With drivers such as Oscar Piastri waiting in McLaren’s wings, Ricciardo will be hoping his form is better in 2022.
“It’s hard to know where we’ll be on the grid but it’s going to be competitive and I’m hungry to get back in the car and go racing.
“Heading into my second year with the team, I feel more confident and comfortable than ever.
“I’m determined to build on last year’s performance and use everything the team and I learned from the highs and lows to make this season one of our best.
“A new iteration of cars is something I’m no stranger to and comes with a lot of excitement. I’m looking forward to the battles out on track with these new cars, particularly at Bahrain with its overtaking opportunities. Let’s get some great results for the team!”
Ricciardo’s team-mate Norris said he was “feeling positive” despite a “tricky” Bahrain test.
“I can’t wait to jump back into the MCL36 and go racing,” he said.
“We’re coming off a tricky test in Bahrain, but I’m feeling positive for the season ahead.
“The team has been working incredibly hard to address the issues we had at testing and make sure we’re ready to battle it out on track this weekend.”