Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will lead McLaren on the grid next season. The Honey Badger is moving to the British Racing team after a two-year stint with Renault. He finished the 2020 season at P5 with 119 points and claimed two podiums for the team.
Meanwhile, Lando Norris finished the season at P9 with 97 points. The young Briton helped McLaren finish the season at P3 in the constructors’ championship. He signed on as McLaren junior driver in 2017 and was promoted to the primary team in 2019.
McLaren announced Zak Brown as the CEO of McLaren Racing in 2018. Since then, he has led the team from P9 in 2017 to finishing P3 this season. Brown recently posted a tweet welcoming Ricciardo and Norris while joking about Mika Hakkinen’s eternal sabbatical.
McLaren announced in 2001 that Kimi Raikkonen would replace Mika Hakkinen in 2002, as the latter went on a sabbatical. The Finnish driver claimed that his drive wasn’t over, but he needed a little rest and some personal time with family.
It’s been two decades since Hakkinen’s sabbatical, and yet he hasn’t made a successful comeback. However, the former McLaren driver has teased the community regarding his comeback in the past.
After twenty years of absence, it is safe to assume that Hakkinen might not be making a comeback ever. The former world champion helped the British team win their last constructors’ title in 1998. However, the team has seen a fall in their performance last decade.
Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, along with McLaren’s new team culture, helped the team get back to the ‘Big 3.’ The team recorded their best result since 2012 as they claimed P3 in the standings with 202 points.
The battle for the P3 position this season went into the last race. Racing Point was at P3 going into the season finale. However, McLaren drivers helped takeover Racing Point with a margin of just seven points.
Daniel Ricciardo is a proven race winner, and McLaren will hope to make the most of their momentum. They will hope that the Australian and Lando Norris will help bring the team closer to the championship next season.