Daniel Ricciardo revealed he is looking forward to getting back in the car and hopefully winning races in what is going to be an ultra-competitive battle in the midfield. The Australian will drive for McLaren after moving from Renault at the end of last season.
When questioned on his preparations after joining a new team, Daniel Ricciardo sounded optimistic and said:
"We were all concerned that we only had three days – and only three half-days per driver – but I think when reliability is working and everything is running smooth, it was enough time to get comfortable. I’m sure I will continue to get better just the more I drive the car and get familiar with the team. But I certainly feel I’m in a good place to start the season and I think for an expectation of where the team is, we have to really try and fight for and know we are in that top three where the team was last year.”
Daniel Ricciardo further added that an intense winter of preparation with the new team helped him get more accustomed to the new environment.
The Australian said the team "worked me pretty hard over the last two months."
"But… there’s been a method to the madness, it hasn’t wasted my time. We’ve worked efficiently and I think it shows they’ve put the work in and are getting the results, as they’ve shown the last couple of years."
Speaking about the progress the team has made since struggling in 2018, Ricciardo said:
“From the outside looking into McLaren over the last couple of years, obviously they’ve turned a massive corner. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and motivation, and there’s a real sense of momentum in the team.”
Teammate Lando Norris echoed the sentiments of the Australian. Talking about the car and the prospects of the team throughout the season, Norris said:
"In terms of feeling, it does feel good. I think we’ve improved in some areas, not all, and we are still focusing on improving them if we can. I think we have a very complete car and a good opportunity to fight very hard. The car is not perfect, there are things to work on and that’s what we’ll be doing.”
Daniel Ricciardo vs Lando Norris: Who will have the edge?
The Australian will drive in his first season with the team and could take time to get used to things. However, it is hard to pick against Daniel Ricciardo as he takes on Lando Norris as his teammate.
Norris is in his third season at McLaren and has matured into a great asset for the team. He could have an edge early in the season. However, Daniel Ricciardo will be expected to beat the young Brit over the course of the season.