Ahead of his racing debut for the team, Ricciardo vowed to give his all to help McLaren, as they continue their quest to return to winning ways.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 23, 2021
Ricciardo and McLaren enjoyed a strong first date together at 2021 pre-season testing, the Australian running faultlessly in the new Mercedes-powered MCL35M, and with data from testing suggesting the team are looking strong on both short and long run pace.
And ahead of a “new chapter” in his career, as he put it, Ricciardo was optimistic that his first season with McLaren would be “a competitive one”.
“It’s the beginning of a new chapter, my first race in papaya and I can’t wait to get started,” said Ricciardo. “The team has made me feel right at home in such a short space of time. I feel confident and comfortable going into the new season, which is important as I want to get the most out of the car right from race one.
“As a team we made the most of pre-season testing with some smooth running,” he added. “It was great to get to grips with the MCL35M in just the few days that we had to put it through its paces. I think, naturally, it takes a bit of time to adjust to a new car, but I’m feeling prepared to hit the track come Friday.
“This season looks like it’s going to be a competitive one, but I’m looking to hit the ground running, leave nothing on the table, give it my all for the team and hopefully give the fans something to smile about.”
Ricciardo optimistic that his first season with McLaren would be “a competitive one”