Ahead of his first season with McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo says that he can feel the team building some serious momentum.
The British team have arguably improved more than any other in the past two seasons, going from the bottom to the top of the midfield, claiming three podiums and P3 in the Constructors’ Championship in the process.
With Ricciardo joining and Mercedes engines replacing Renault power units, they look set to continue to make steps forward in 2021, with there even being talk that they could challenge their engine supplier.
While Ricciardo isn’t making any predictions, he says that he can feel a lot of momentum building ahead of the upcoming campaign.
“We’ve worked efficiently and I think it shows they’ve put the work in and are getting the results, as they’ve showed the last couple of years,” he said to reporters in Bahrain.
“From the outside looking into McLaren over the last couple of years, obviously they’ve turned a massive corner. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and motivation, and there’s a real sense of momentum in the team.”
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With pre-season testing only lasting three days instead of six this year, many drivers joining new teams, including Carlos Sainz and Sebastian Vettel, have stated that they’re not yet fully comfortable with their new machinery ahead of the season opener.
However, having encountered no major issues in Bahrain, Ricciardo doesn’t feel that way about the MCL35M, and is confident he can hit the ground running.
“We were all concerned that we only had three days – and only three half days per driver – but I think when reliability is working and everything is running smooth, it was enough time to get comfortable,” the Aussie added.
“I’m sure I will continue to get better just the more I drive the car and get familiar with the team, but I certainly feel I’m in a good place to start the season and I think for an expectation of where the team is, we have to really try and fight for and know we are in that top three where the team was last year.”