Daniel Ricciardo feels he has been made to feel right at home at the McLaren F1 Team as he continues his preparation for this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Australian moved to McLaren ahead of the 2021 season after two years with the Renault DP World F1 Team, but he is ready and prepared for his latest challenge.
Ricciardo says he has been made to feel very welcome at the team and as a result, he feels both confident and comfortable heading into the first race of the year.
“I’m really excited for the of start the season,” expressed Ricciardo. “It’s the beginning of a new chapter, my first race in papaya and I can’t wait to get started.
“It’s also a special race with Bahrain being the team’s home-from-home. In my first few months at McLaren the team has made me feel right at home in such a short space of time. I feel confident and comfortable going into the new season, which is important as I want to get the most out of the car right from race one.”
Ricciardo believes McLaren did as much as they could have done during pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit last week, and it did not take him long to adapt to his new surroundings. He hopes he can start the year with a competitive weekend in the desert of Bahrain.
“As a team we made the most of pre-season testing with some smooth running,” said the Australian. “It was great to get to grips with the MCL35M in just the few days that we had to put it through its paces.
“I think, naturally, it takes a bit of time to adjust to a new car, but I’m feeling prepared to hit the track come Friday. It’s an exciting circuit with a few big braking zones and plenty of opportunities for overtaking. Racing at dusk is always cool and brings an added challenge to the weekend.
“This season looks like it’s going to be a competitive one, but I’m looking to hit the ground running, leave nothing on the table, give it my all for the team and hopefully give the fans something to smile about.”