McLaren’s new recruit Daniel Ricciardo believes most teams will be competitive and have a realistic chance of getting podium finishes in the upcoming season.
Ricciardo has arrived at McLaren on the back of a good season for Renault, where he managed to get a podium finish. This was the team’s first such result since 2011.
Perhaps what is of more interest is the fact that we finally got to see the famous ‘shoey’ again. Lando Norris recently spoke about how he is open to doing a shoey himself, but on two conditions.
With new regulations in place and Mercedes reportedly having some pre-season jitters with respect to its engine, Ricciardo believes it will be a very competitive campaign.
“I see it as any team has a chance at a podium, if not every team then most of them.
“It will be tight again, but they’re my motivation, and hopefully, my experience comes out on top in whatever battle that is.
“Looking at last year there was really a rivalry with most of the field, I know not every team, but more teams than not finished on the podium last year.
“The battle to fight for the front was getting much more intense,” he said.
Ricciardo is wary of Ferrari, saying that he could see them fighting this season following a strong of disappointing campaigns. However, he was realistic enough to grant Mercedes an edge in the race for the championship.
“You’ve still got Mercedes with the target on their back, but for the rest of us we’re really trying to close that gap, so whether it’s Ferrari or another team, I think it’s going to be close again.
“Obviously you have Carlos, now at Ferrari, so I guess that’s something there, but I think in general, it’s really the whole field trying to close up to the front,” he said.
With Reanult’s engine not proving adequate for Ricciardo’s talent, McLaren will be buoyed by the fact that it has got such an experienced campaigner in its ranks.
A third-place finish last year exceeded most people’s expectations. However, with Mercedes supplying the team with power units this season, would it be unrealistic to see them go one better and actually compete with the big guns?