Daniel Ricciardo reveals problematic first meeting with new McLaren car


McLaren unveiled its new car for 2021 on Monday with Australian Daniel Ricciardo on hand to spruik his championship credentials for his new team.

But before the official launch earlier this week, things didn’t quite get off to the start the former Renault and Red Bull driver wanted with his new team.

When the Aussie and McLaren officials met up to see if his body dimensions were a perfect fit for the car, there was an awkward moment.

Upon inspection, the F1 driver realised his hips were keeping him from fitting snugly into position.

“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.”

The 31-year-old said despite sorting out the sizing of his seat, it’s clear technological advancements are making the space inside the car much smaller.

“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,” he said.

“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!'”

Speaking at the launch, Ricciardo was realistic about his chances for McLaren in the first year of his contract, with the team still acclimatise to the needs of a different motor and McLaren’s new aerodynamics.

“I obviously like to think (I’ll have a sneaky chance next year). Probably by the middle of this year we’ll have an understanding of how the development for next year is tracking, so I could probably answer it better then,” Ricciardo said.

“But even so, it’s probably all speculation until the cars get on track.

“We might look really good on paper … but you never know what the other teams are doing. But I think the right people are in place to make this a very successful team.”



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