‘From There, Just Work Backwords’ – McLaren Reveal Their Plan to Integrate Daniel Ricciardo

Published 01/05/2021, 7:32 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


McLaren will be heading into the 2021 season on a high. The Woking-based outfit completed the previous campaign in third place and have shown vast improvement with their car over the last two years. Additionally, with a Mercedes power unit under the hood and a very entertaining driver pairing in Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, McLaren could be aiming for a Grand Prix win or two this year.

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Undoubtedly, Ricciardo and Norris would prove to be quite an amusing pair off the track. However, on it, things could be a bit challenging, especially for Ricciardo.

Moving to a new team is not easy, even more so this year. This is because there are only three days of testing available for drivers. Also, the fact that McLaren can’t provide the Australian with an opportunity to test older machinery owing to the engine change makes Ricciardo’s integration tricky.

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Formula One F1. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during qualifying. Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

However, team boss Andreas Seidl believes his team are up for the challenge. He said, “Having a new driver on board is always a very interesting challenge.

“It’s a combination of a very methodical approach and competence because I’m sure the engineers will be eager to share with the driver tonnes and tonnes of information and solutions, but you need to do the right things. There won’t be a lot of time to test on track, less than any other time, which increases the challenge.

“The objective is to be like Daniel has driven a McLaren and has worked with his engineers a long time, but it’s actually the first race. From there, just work backwards.”

McLaren aim to make the integration of Daniel Ricciardo a wholesome process

Formula One F1. Turkish Grand Prix. Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey. McLaren team members pose after the race. Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason

For a driver as established and talented as the Australian, integrating him on the racing side shouldn’t be a huge problem. With a short pre-season test, Ricciardo would instead have to rely on putting in the laps on the simulator.

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Speaking on the team’s plans for integrating him, Seidl believes that it should be a healthy process.

He said, “The main focus is on integration on the technical side, on the racing side. But in parallel to that we have as a programme in place to integrate him as a team member on the communication side, the marketing side and the business side. 

“The target is to make sure he feels at home with us as quickly as possible, then looking forward to perform together from the first race onwards.”

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For a team on the upward trajectory, who is expected to face stiff competition from its rivals, it’s imperative that Ricciardo is integrated at the earliest. They’d want him to hit the ground running for the season opener.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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