Daniel Ricciardo was met with questions at the MCL35M’s launch after a recent McLaren ‘Unboxed’ video showed him struggling to get comfortable in the new car.
“It’s pretty normal,” he explained to Fox Sports. “I do have wide hips. I’m pretty thick-boned, I guess – but I got in!
“It was the first mock-up of a seat, and with the dimensions they had, and assumed what would be okay for me, wasn’t quite okay.
“Fortunately, it was just the seat, it wasn’t the actual keel itself which is too narrow. So since then I have been able to get in a seat, and I do fit. I feel like I’m certainly the limit.
“You know, I think the way they design the cars and the chassis now, everything’s trying to be as tight and compact as possible. So really, my hips are sometimes the limiting factor.
“I just tell them: ‘Make sure I’m comfortable, and if you think that loses you a tenth of aerodynamics, then I’ll just drive faster on track!,” he quipped.
Ricciardo joins a distinguished list of drivers who found fitting in F1 cars fiddly; Nigel Mansell, Justin Wilson, and most recently George Russell, all famously had trouble with the slender cockpits.
This is not the first time the affable Aussie has had hip woes, especially in the notoriously slender 2014-spec Red Bull RB10.
Daniel Ricciardo suffers to squeeze in
Designer Adrian Newey is known for his tight-fitting cars and Ricciardo reportedly suffered severe headaches as a result.
"It's not my arse per se," the then 24-year-old Ricciardo told the Telegraph.
"Even when I signed for Toro Rosso we had to do a few seat fits and they did some scans to make that particular part of the cockpit a bit wider, so that we're not sitting on the actual carbon fibre.
"I can't do much about it. Even if I go on a massive diet my hip bones aren't going to change."
Thankfully, it looks like Daniel is faring well in his new position, praising the inclusivity at McLaren.
“I think fitting in, in terms of feeling like you’re part of the team. Being integrated, not only into the driving side, but into the engineering side and the strategy.
“It’s kind of like feeling like you’re sitting in the room with a voice and with enough knowledge that what you say will be taken on board," Ricciardo added.