Daniel Ricciardo finally got behind the wheel of a McLaren Formula 1 car during the team’s promotional day at Silverstone today.
The 31-year-old took over the newly-launched McLaren-Mercedes MCL35 at Silverstone for the afternoon after team-mate Lando Norris gave the car its initial laps in the morning.
McLaren has released images and videos of the day, which is being held in predictably wet conditions, on social media with both Norris and Ricciardo behind the wheel.
Speaking after his first run in the MCL35M, Daniel Ricciardo said:
“It feels longer than two months actually [since the 2020 season ended], it always takes a little bit to get the cobwebs out.
“And these greasy conditions don’t fill you with a lot of confidence after it’s been a while you’ve not been in the car.
“But it’s nice, everything’s run really smoothly. We completed what we had to so that’s really all you can ask for.
“And I know that the more laps I turn, the more confident and comfortable I’ll feel with this team.”
Speaking about the development of the teams latest model, the MCL35M, James Key, Technical Director, McLaren F1, said:
“Despite relatively stable technical regulations from 2020, there are several significant aerodynamic changes to the rules that are important to get right.
“Every change to these regulations presents an opportunity, and the team in Woking has been working incredibly hard in difficult conditions to maximise those opportunities.
“One of the key elements of the MCL35M design is the integration of the Mercedes-AMG power unit, which has taken a considerable effort from the team in Woking, as well as our colleagues at Mercedes.
“Despite our limited scope for installation in a homologated car, the team has done a fantastic job of optimising our design work.
“Building a Formula 1 car is never easy. These are the fastest and most technically complex racing cars in the world and that challenge has only been compounded by the covid-19 pandemic.
“Over the past year, the team in the factory has been subject to incredibly strict, rigorous testing and working procedures aimed at keeping our people safe. I’m immensely proud of how our incredible group of people has risen to this challenge and developed the best possible package.”