Daniel Ricciardo is set to race for one of sport’s most historic teams, McLaren F1. In many ways, the move was a dream come true for the Australian, as it was one of the teams he supported during his younger days.
McLaren was so close to his heart that Ricciardo even brought a McLaren road car as his first present for himself. However, being a Red Bull driver, the man from down under reveals he had to hide this gift from the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
He said, “One of the very first gifts I bought myself once I was in F1 and had enough money to buy a pair of jeans, the first real gift I got was a McLaren road car. That was still while I was at Red Bull so I had to keep that a little bit under wraps!”
Ricciardo was part of the Woking-based outfit’s 2021 car launch two days ago. Fans got a first glimpse of him sporting the blue and orange race suit. He even completed his first tests with the team.
The seven-time Grand Prix winner would be looking to continue his upward trajectory after taking a step back in his career when he joined Renault. However, while contemplating the switch to the French team, Ricciardo also had an offer from McLaren on the table. But there were reasons why he didn’t opt for the papaya team at that point in time.
Daniel Ricciardo reveals why 2019 move to McLaren never materialized
The Australian said, “There were still quite a few moving parts. Ultimately not only the results weren’t quite there on track yet, but they were still trying to figure out their own structure. And I think they’ve really established that now.”
Back then, McLaren were stuck in a rut. However, from that year on, the team showed incredible progress. That progress even continued in the 2020 season as they finished as the ‘best of the rest.’
The team Ricciardo now moves into is one that is capable of fighting for podiums on a regular basis.
Can Daniel add to his tally of seven race wins in 2021? We shall find out soon, once the season kicks off on March 28 in Bahrain.