Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

McLaren’s test could not have gone better so far – Ricciardo

2021 F1 Season

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Daniel Ricciardo says McLaren’s start to testing could not have gone better, but is waiting for a run under the lights on Sunday to help gauge the team’s pre-season performance.

McLaren have enjoyed two productive opening days to testing in Bahrain with Ricciardo topping the times in the two morning sessions he has participated in thus far.

Both Ricciardo and team mate Lando Norris covered 104 laps between them on the second day with Norris recording the fourth-fastest time. Ricciardo says McLaren have achieved everything they have set out to accomplish so far.

“I think it’s it’s all gone pretty smooth,” says Ricciardo. “I don’t know what could have gone better yet – aside from the lap times. But generally I think it’s been pretty good. I think we’ve done most runs that we planned.”

Having run in the warmer morning sessions so far, Ricciardo says he is keen to get a feel for the car in the cooler evening temperatures, when quicker lap time have been set.

“I’ve had two of the morning sessions when the track is hot and usually we come here at night,” he explained. “But tomorrow, I’m on-track later on and I think I’ll be able to push the car a bit more and get a better feeling of how comfortable I am, as well as a better understanding of how ready we are for two weeks’ time.”

With his first two days of driving in the new McLaren MCL35M behind him, Ricciardo says he is almost fully comfortable with his new environment and machinery.

“I think the reality is it does take a little time to execute at one hundred percent,” said Ricciardo.

“So I think I’m certainly getting close. Am I truly at one with the car yet? Not yet. But I expect a fair bit out of myself tomorrow in the evening session. And I expect to start getting closer to that.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 5 comments on “McLaren’s test could not have gone better so far – Ricciardo”

    1. Seidl was asked about testing yesterday, and the way he was going on about the preparation and integration of Ricciardo told me they are really putting a lot of their eggs in his basket. Hope Norris won’t feel too left out.

    2. I’m slightly underwhelmed by the mileage, but I guess when the team’s this satisfied with their programme, they should know better. The pace seems to be really good – McLaren has been dictating it for most of these sessions and they seem to be the leading force in the midfield pack.

      1. Ugh, pace means absolutely diddly squat in testing. So frustrating to read all these comments getting excited by the timing screens.

        It means literally nothing…

        1. I wouldn’t say nothing. Once accounting for fuel load and tyres, if you look back at previous seasons it’s been quite representative.

          Either way though, there is nothing bad about setting quick times.

        2. No Tristan, it doesn’t mean nothing. Remember when Racing Point was quick out of the box last year? If I remember correctly, many people predicted them to fight for the third in the championship, and exactly that was later translated onto the track. While we don’t get the precise picture, we get many indicia on the form of the given team. Now go find your Isolda.

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