Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Silverstone, 2021

Ricciardo “at the limit” fitting into his first McLaren

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says he’s only just able to fit in the cockpit of his McLaren MCL35M.

What they say

Ricciardo said the width of his hips makes his new McLaren a tight fit:

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. The dimensions they had kind of assumed what would be okay for me wasn’t quite okay. But fortunately it was just the seat, it wasn’t the actual keel itself which was too narrow. Since then I have been able to get in a seat and I do fit. But I feel like I’m certainly at the limit.

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. So I just tell them to make sure I’m comfortable and if you think that loses you a tenth of aerodynamics, then I’ll just drive faster on-track.

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Comment of the day

Mercedes have put one over their rivals off the track by arranging a test for Romain Grosjean, says Gavin:

I always was a bit perplexed why Ferrari didn’t offer him a run in a few different cars at Fiorano. It would be a very easy PR win for the Scuderia as Grosjean is a popular fellow and was for a few years in the mix for a drive with the prancing horse.

It also would be worth throwing him in the simulator a few times over the next few years as he is rated so highly for speed (less so consistency). I think people underestimated how fast he was/is in a F1 car but just lacked a bit of consistency and racing awareness versus the greatest.

But hey Mercedes know how the game is played – so come on down Roman and have some fun. Take note rest of the grid!
Gavin Campbell

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 52 comments on “Ricciardo “at the limit” fitting into his first McLaren”

    1. Isn’t Russell gay as well?

      1. What a stupid topic, what does it matter, and who cares? Keith I’m surprised you posted that link.

        1. Weekly woke round-up here

      2. Don’t think so. Don’t care all that much to go trawling tabloids to find out either, but I’m pretty sure he’s had a couple of girlfriends.

      3. Does it matter?

        1. Of course it doesn’t matter, but there is an article in this roundup about the only known gay driver, so I think it is fair to talk about sexual preferences.

          1. I think the point is that he is the only driver that has ever come out. I don’t really think it’s right for people to try and out others though with anecdotal evidence based in particular on weekends where the drivers are paid a huge amount of money to work. Sure they have visitors along on those weekends but I doubt they get much time to spend together with all the preparations they’ll go through.

            Ultimately it has no bearing on their performance anyway so it’s irrelevant but it does pose the question on why the headline needed to be something not related to his driving performance. That said I appreciate it provides some evidence of representation which might help any existing or future drivers.

            1. I don’t really think it’s right for people to try and out others

              This. Well said @slowmo
              TBH we really shouldn’t even be having this conversation in 2021. Sexual preference, even gender identification, shouldn’t be a relevant issue or topic in Formula 1. It is, of course, still an issue if anyone in Formula 1 feels unable to express or show their preferences, like turning up to the track with a boyfriend, because of anticipated negative reactions. We can speculate that this might have been or still be the case for some people (drivers or otherwise) – if we take football as a parameter, say, the number of players who’ve declared their gay is statistically improbably low. So that indicates social pressures in sports generally, or at least some specific ones, to keep quiet. But I disagree with outing anyone.

          2. True. But it could only be fair if there’s a data about how many bisexual and asexual drivers.

            1. One driver, Nicha Cabral, came out as bisexual after he had retired from motorsport (aged 75). No driver has ever come out as asexual, thus far.

      4. There are a couple of guys in their mid to late 30’s never married and rarely seen around women.

        Russell still a young man.

        1. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
          22nd February 2021, 8:05

          There are also gay guys who are married, especially in Asia, marriage in itself doesn’t mean anything. Besides, due to crippling social anxiety I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 25 years old. To compare, Russel is 23. Not that I think Russel has crippling social anxiety.

          1. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
            22nd February 2021, 8:05

            What I meant is “gay guys married to women”

        2. You could be right, but they are probably married to their careers at present! :-)

          Going off on a tangent: there are also lots of women married to men, with children, who are actually gay/love women. They need to have kids, to have the traditional wedding, and acceptance from their peers. I can think of at least a dozen women who married men (with decent incomes ahem), but they are actually in the closet.

      5. George has a long time girlfriend. This story came about as Mazepin threatened to out him on Instagram.

      6. No but he is a Vulcan.

      7. Actually grinding my teeth at this thread.

        Mike Beuttler was the only male driver to be openly out during his career in F1, in 70 years of the championship. His story is interesting – and tragic – not least because he went on to have his life cut short, as so many LGBT pioneers, by AIDS.

        Sexuality will continue to be an issue in F1 – and the world at large – until people who aren’t straight can still be considered ‘normal.’ At the minute, a male driver can say ‘my girlfriend’ or ‘my wife’ in an interview without people batting an eyelid, whereas if they said ‘my boyfriend’ or ‘my husband’ then there would, you can guarantee, be quite a lot of fuss. Much of it made by people saying “well I don’t see why they have to TELL people about it” as though straight people keep their relationships or even, especially in the highly glamourised world of motorsport, preferences secret.

        LGBT sportspeople face huge barriers in all sports and although there are several out women in other single seater series (Abbie Eaton, Jess Hawkins, Sarah Moore) and Lella Lombardi also made no secret of having girlfriends, Mike Beuttler is still the only man to come out in F1. The statistical anomaly of that uniqueness alone makes him interesting – and prompts the question, why hasn’t there been more?

        I’m out. And I’m typing this from my hotel room in Riyadh. It’s not sponsors (imagine if Coca Cola, say, dropped a driver for being gay? can you even imagine the scale of the backlash?) and it’s not promoters or race locations: it is attitudes like this.

        And needless to say, whatever George Russell’s sexuality he hasn’t defined. So this is a particularly risible attempt at humour, I suspect, best left in primary school in the 90s.

        1. @hazelsouthwell grinding your teeth for what reason? Having a go at Russel, maybe folks are not having a go at him, maybe they are just wondering like you when you mention percentages of gays and whatnot.
          Does it matter? To us. It is their problem, we don’t have to “bend a knee” if we haven’t done anything wrong, or just because we might be straight, bland and regular.
          On the other side I’m not saying the issues you talk about are not on their mind, but they are of the mind, their mind.
          Like you said other people don’t have any trouble or little trouble mentioning whether they are straight or not. Also other people don’t make their whole existence revolve around their sexual preference, so maybe nobody needs to know whether a driver is gay or not, if that is the case kudos to whatever gay driver might be out there. I thought the point of progress was to reach equality. It very much seems some want to victimize people. I don’t think we are h@tin’ on anyone.

          1. Straight people do not have to think about their relationships and preferences and partners being “other” at all times, if you think LGBT people make their identity everything – it’s because it is the thing that gets them excluded.

            People do have trouble mentioning whether they are straight or not. Because of outdated attitudes like yours. And you have done something wrong, in showing a lack of empathy for LGBT people even when one explains the issues to you, in assuming that someone accusing Russell of being gay is personally attacking him not them showing their own lack of understanding and in equating talking about issues with victimhood.

            Education is key to addressing all those things, which is why it is important to tell stories like Mike Beuttler’s and for effort to be made to understand them, even by people like yourself who clearly think the LGBT experience is irrelevant to you. LGBT rights and history are human rights and history, you can’t just choose to only know your own – after all, every LGBT person has had to learn about the rest.

            The point of progress *is* to reach equality. We’re not at it.

            1. @hazelsouthwell Don’t insult me. At least you could have read what I said. You could have avoided needlessly repeating yourself. I don’t have an outdated attitude I think you have. I and lots of us here don’t care, because it should not matter. I speak for many by saying that we are way ahead your attitude, past raising awareness.
              Reality is lots of people are gay lots are not
              I said some make their sexuality their identity not all. your comment just proved my point on victimization, some people just want to lecture other people, without reason.
              We have said nothing wrong, some users are a bit curious that is all. People don’t have to pay for a crime they did not commit.
              The article is fine, it is history and judging by our community here, I think everyone would be acceptive a take a driver coming out with normality as it should.

        2. Don’t struggle too much with the reality that most people are indifferent about sexual preferences in 2021, Hazel.

          1. Tell that to the crowds in Poland right now fighting to exist, for instance.

          2. thejerk ‘most people?’ Oh dear. So…good enough for you then? Problem solved? While I’d like to think more people are indifferent with each day, the reality is the percentage that aren’t indifferent remains a big problem. Globally.

            When even LH, F1’s ‘leader’ (or however LH would prefer his role be defined or titled) in BLM and getting F1 and Mercedes up to speed with combating systemic racism, and has no doubt experienced some of the degrees of racism throughout his life, can make a derogatory remark about his little nephew’s choice of apparel, and yes realized his faux pas and apologized when there was backlash, yeah there’s still a long way to go. That is in no way intended to be an insult to LH…just a reminder of something that actually happened. I have no doubt he received some education over that.

        3. @hazelsouthwell +1
          Fellow teethgrinder.

          1. @David-br absolutely mind blown at some of the things people seem to think it’s unchallengeable to say in public.

            1. @hazelsouthwell, It’s not right but as long as F1 goes to intolerant countries, like Russia and the Arabian princedoms, F1 personnel in the spotlight can be expected not to advertise their non-hetero preferences.

      8. No, I don’t believe so.

    2. Anyone else having problems with the site loading, regardless of whether its a PC, or mobile device?

      1. Yes. The site doesn’t load properly for me on PC. Tried in Chrome, Firefox and Edge Chromium.

      2. The images don’t load up and all the drop down menus stay down for me, so I couldn’t read anything in the past couple weeks

    3. Yeah, ’tis pretty tight in there:-

      CotD – Agree on Grosjean – he was bl00dy quick @ Lotus. Hartley & Kvyat have done simwork for Ferrari.

      Niki’s birthday. R.I.P. ☹

      1. That was a very interesting video. So many little details, so many areas where you need people with experience. All these little places where margins of a couple of mm might make the difference between a comfortable driver and one in a lot of pain.

    4. Yes, main article image doesn’t load for me and I couldn’t vote in the latest poll (pressing vote or view results does nothing).

    5. @dbradock, me too, no pics, drop down menu covering home page and I could not open a reply panel under your post. cc @keithcollantine.

    6. Stroll, Norris, Ocon (he could’ve won Bahrain 2), and Sainz (dark horse depending on Ferrari’s performance) are the most likely candidates should circumstances favor.

      Out of the teams that have done non-official testing this year, Alpha Tauri is the only one to have used a 2019 car thus far. BTW, yesterday I found out the real reason Ferrari used the SF71H instead of SF90 for their Fiorano runs earlier this year, and it’s because they will use the latter for the 18-inch wheel rim tests, meaning that they’ve made or will make some changes to it for the purpose.

      1. Yep, agree on all accounts @jerejj ; interesting bit about Ferrari testing regime, logical choices to make there.

    7. @dbradock Yep some of the drop downs at the top of the page are down permanently blocking some of the story leads, I use Firefoox.

    8. @dbradock Yes, I too have problems. My thanks for asking everyone because it suggests the problem isn’t with our computers.
      As an aside, I did try to Reply to your message but that feature doesn’t work as well.

    9. Nobody talking about Danny Ric doing a Mansell ’95?

      It sounds like they designed the car for a man of Norris’ stature

    10. Women typically have wider hips than men, so if cars have been getting narrower, are female drivers still going to fit? This might be an issue for test days of young drivers, if they want to run a female driver.

      1. @aapje Sounds like a topic for RaceFans to run with

        1. @balue

          This might actually be a legitimate issue where women have a greater challenge, although it might not fit with RaceFans’ politics.

          1. Snideness aside, if we’re talking typicalities then women are also usually smaller than men generally so I assure you Jamie Chadwick would have no issue fitting into a car that, say, Max Verstappen could.

    11. I like DR. Have no issues with him whatsoever. He’s fun and he’s fun to watch. So I sure hope he is being tongue in cheek about ‘just driving faster’ to make up for a slight aero penalty for fitting him into a car. Surely he is always going 10/10, tires and strategies taken into account of course? Surely he hasn’t all along just been able to ‘decide’ to go a bit faster, but hasn’t bothered? I’m likely being picky.

      Sort of reminds me of something I remember Jacques Villeneuve saying when he raced in F1 in Montreal for the first time at the track named after his Dad, and he was asked about the notion of his home race being good for an extra tenth or so. His response? And I paraphrase…’that would mean I haven’t been trying hard enough at all the other venues.’

      1. He is probably being tongue in cheek, but also consider the last time he said “I’ll drive faster.

        1. vkire Lol good one. Wonder how his tires were after that though. But now I’m reminded of a few times when he was behind Max and said ‘I’m faster than him’ only for that to not translate to reality but for those few moments when he thought it was so. Unfortunately in today’s formula they can all driver faster at any point in time, but there’s a cost to the tires and their performance band, and to conservation of the components, and fuel usage etc etc, so one can easy go faster but ruin the overall strategy to cross the finish line as high up as possible.

          1. Hah – he was definitively faster than Max at the critical juncture.

            1. For sure but you have to make it stick.

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