‘McLaren missed out on Ricciardo a few years ago’

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo smiling pa

Daniel Ricciardo said he saw no sense in waiting for the season to start before joining McLaren.

Having missed out on signing Daniel Ricciardo in 2018, Zak Brown says he “couldn’t be more excited” to have the Aussie at McLaren.

Making it known that he was considering his options during the 2018 season, McLaren went into pursuit of Ricciardo’s signature.

The team lost to Renault.

At the time McLaren was powered by Renault, its first season with the French manufacturer, and was someway off Renault’s pace – both on track and in the points.

Ricciardo therefore decided to sign with the works team, swapping from Red Bull to Renault for 2019.

That move, though, did not yield the joy that the Aussie had hoped for.

In fact Renault lost to McLaren in 2019 championship, prompting Ricciardo to once again look at his options.

With a seat opening up at McLaren for the 2021 season as Carlos Sainz announced his Ferrari move, Ricciardo was quick to snap up the McLaren seat.

The team’s CEO, Brown, is delighted.

“We went after Daniel a couple of years ago and I think narrowly missed out,” he told Sky F1.

“So we’ve been a fan of Daniel’s for some time.

“Obviously he went to Renault, and then we brought on Carlos and Lando, who have done a fantastic job.

“And we were out of contract with Carlos, and he had some opportunities.

“We’re going to miss Carlos, he’s done a fantastic job.

“Butt now we’ve got a seven-time grand prix winner in the car and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Brown reckons 30-year-old Ricciardo and 20-year-old Norris will make up one of the “most exciting” line ups on next year’s grid.

He added: “I think the combination of he and Lando in ’21 will be the most exciting driver line-up.”

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