Silverstone shakedown for McLaren’s MCL35M

Jon Wilde


Daniel Ricciardo will get his first taste of driving a McLaren F1 car during a shakedown of the MCL35M at Silverstone on Tuesday.

The Australian, who has joined the team for the 2021 season from Renault, and his new team-mate Lando Norris will take part in a filming day at the home of the British Grand Prix.

It will be the first opportunity for the duo to try out the new McLaren complete with its Mercedes engine, to which the team have switched this year from Renault.

Although pre-season testing does not take place until March 12-14 in Bahrain, teams are allowed to run their cars on two occasions during the year described as ‘filming days’ with a maximum distance of 100km.

The shakedown comes on the day after the MCL35M was unveiled during an evening launch show at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, with McLaren the first of the 10 teams to take the wraps off their 2021 challenger.

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“It’s great to have finally joined the team after what feels like an age since we confirmed it last May,” said Ricciardo, who replaces Carlos Sainz at McLaren following the Spaniard’s move to Ferrari.

“I’m thrilled to be a McLaren driver and super-keen to get started. McLaren have been on an awesome journey over the last few years and I’m looking forward to helping the team maintain this positive momentum.

“I’ve been spending the last few weeks here in the UK getting fully integrated into the team so we are as prepared as possible for the start of the season.

“I’ve had such a warm welcome from everyone I’ve met and there’s a real sense of unity and focus around the factory, and a lot of excitement!

“Going into this new season in Formula 1, I’m feeling excited and motivated to give it my absolute all. I think my determination to perform has only grown as I’ve gained more experience and I’m looking forward to getting this next chapter in my career started.”

Norris, meanwhile, is entering his third year as a McLaren F1 driver and will hope to add to his solitary podium finish so far, P3 in last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.

“I’m really excited to be back working with the team ahead of my third season in Formula 1,” said the 21-year-old.

“Every time I get into the car I feel like I’m growing in confidence and experience, which helps me build my performance year-on-year.

“I’ve been working hard personally throughout the off-season to be as sharp as I can when we get to pre-season testing, and I can’t wait to get back in the car.”

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