McLaren welcome Ricciardo back to MTC

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo returns to McLaren HQ.

McLaren have confirmed Daniel Ricciardo was back “in the house” as preparations continue for the 2021 season.

A campaign that originally was to be contested with the new generation of Formula 1 cars, their introduction has been pushed back until 2022 due to the global implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And so teams will carry over large parts of their 2020 chassis with tweaks to the floor, rear brake ducts and diffuser to kerb the unsustainable rise in downforce levels.

One area of the sport which has seen plenty of change though is the driver line-ups, with McLaren one of the teams to switch drivers between 2020 and 2021.

After Carlos Sainz confirmed his departure to Ferrari, McLaren moved to acquire the services of seven-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo.

And with pre-season testing now only a month-and-a-half away, McLaren took to social media to welcome the Aussie back to their headquarters.

McLaren recently fired up their new challenger, the MCL35M, for the first time. The official launch will take place on February 15.

And Ricciardo will be hoping the MCL35M will give him the performance to build on his two podium finishes with Renault in 2020. McLaren finished on the podium twice in 2020 on their way to P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.

But as well as his obvious pace, Ricciardo’s new team-mate Lando Norris believes it is the race-winning experience Ricciardo possesses which will prove a valuable asset for the Woking outfit.

“It’s going to be very good. [Ricciardo] is going to give a different perspective on a lot of things. I’m sure some comments are going to be similar to Carlos, because Carlos drove the Renault, and probably a lot of characteristics are similar,” Norris told Autosport.

“A lot of things Carlos talked about sometimes were when he drove a Renault, things were like this, and the team acted like this and different circumstances. A lot of knowledge that drivers have, and something I learned from Carlos, is knowledge of how he worked with other teams.

“With Daniel, working with Red Bull a bit more and knowing how to win races and how a team wins races and the car he needs for that, I think that’s something Carlos doesn’t have.

“That will be very good for when Daniel comes in, giving those fresh ideas and helping the team move forward. I think it’s very good.”

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