Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo decided to move to McLaren at the end of the 2020 season.
He has made a few switches through the course of his career. It can be argued that he has looked for better financial offers at times, while also focusing on a team that will value him enough to facilitate a title push.
He believes McLaren has shown tremendous growth in the past few years and this eventually convinced him to sign for them.
Last year, McLaren surprised a number of analysts with their performance, finishing the season in third spot in the constrctors’ standings.
This year, with the added strength of Ricciardo, the team will be looking to establish its hold on such a position, if not push for higher honours.
Ricciardo’s debut race for the team saw him finish in seventh place, with teammate Lando Norris registering fourth spot.
Ricciardo recently spoke about the key reason behind his switch to McLaren.
“I think when I signed the contract it was really just the step they made in 2019,” he said.
“They turned heads in the whole paddock, and it felt like they have gone through few let’s say darker years of trying to sort themselves out.
“To rebuild the team and it felt like in ’19 they really put everything together and it was like they laid everything out, all the pieces put together. Now it is just building and executing for the next few years.
“In ’19 they made a big step, obviously I signed at the beginning of ’20, during ’20 they showed a further step.
“I just think they had the most promise out of the rest around.
“You never know at the end of the day what’s going to happen, Sunday or the rest of the year here, but I like what I saw.
“Everyone at McLaren’s feels comfortable, and when I say comfortable, don’t mistake that for complacent and ready to get on with it.”
Due to damage on the floor of his car, he was unable to match expectations in his first race for McLaren.
McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl explained the impact.
“Post-race, we found damage to Daniel’s floor from the impact of Pierre running into the back of his car at the beginning of the race,” he said.
“The level of damage cost a considerable amount of downforce. Despite the performance loss, Daniel used his experience to cope with the issues and score important points for the team. We now look forward to the next race.”
What position would Ricciardo be hoping to achieve at the Imola Grand Prix? Send us your predictions in the comments section below!