Daniel Ricciardo is convinced he can win a World title with McLaren but it won’t be this season.
The Aussie swapped from Renault to McLaren in the off-season, saying at the time he believed in the McLaren programme and the progress it had made since he turned them down in 2018.
The Woking team is already justifying his faith, putting his team-mate Lando Norris on the podium at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
That was a race weekend in which Ricciardo qualified and finished P6 to bring his tally for the season to 14 points.
But while that is 30 behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton, the Honey Badger says it is only a matter of time before he is fighting for a World title with McLaren.
Asked by EFTM if he can win a title with McLaren, he replied: “Yeah… I mean, if it’s a yes or no, then it’s yes.
“Is it this year? No.
“But already seeing the first couple of races and I look at even my lap at the weekend [Imola] and I’m still pretty confident I’m not getting everything out of it, and I was four-tenths off pole or something.
“So even with that, the team’s closed the gap a bunch.”
Like many keen to see the end of Mercedes’ reign, Ricciardo is pinning his hopes on next year’s regulations.
The 2022 season will herald the arrival of an all-new generation of cars as Formula 1 moves to ground-effect aerodynamics in a bid to improve the cars’ abilities to follow and pass.
That, though, isn’t the only encouragement Ricciardo is seeing.
“The rule changes are going to change everything next year,” he added.
“But I just feel like what the team’s done – and it looks like this year’s another step in that direction – I don’t know… the structure, stability, guns are a-blazing down here and it’s really cool to see and that fills me with a lot of confidence to give you a yes for the question you asked.