Ricciardo launches one car and has eyes on another

16 February 2021 - 08:21 By Reuters
Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris unveiled the new 2021 McLaren MCL35M on Monday night.
Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris unveiled the new 2021 McLaren MCL35M on Monday night.
Image: McLaren Media Centre

Daniel Ricciardo showed off McLaren's new Formula One car on Monday but the Australian also had his eye on something from his boss's private collection.

The 31-year-old, who joined team mate Lando Norris in pulling the wraps off the papaya and blue car in an online launch, has joined from Renault on a three-year contract and as a proven winner.

He stood on the podium twice last year, winning a bet that obliged then-Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul to get a tattoo of his driver's choice.

The inking has yet to happen, and Abiteboul has since left Renault, but Ricciardo's thoughts have turned already to his new situation and what he might wager with McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

“Only a couple of hours ago we were having some lunch with Zak and he mentioned something about him hating needles,” the Australian told reporters ahead of the presentation.

“So I can't see the tattoo thing happening with Zak but we'll think of something else. I know he's got a pretty good car collection, so maybe we could just bet for one of his cars or something.”

Brown's collection includes McLaren and Ferrari road cars, as well as Formula One cars raced by champions such as Mario Andretti and Arton Senna.

Ricciardo, winner of seven races with Red Bull, will be the senior driver alongside 21-year-old Norris who is starting his third season.

“I'm certainly the more experienced in F1, this being my 11th season, but actually in terms of McLaren, Lando is the more experienced,” said Ricciardo.

“For sure there's some things I can learn from him, particularly within the team itself and integration into the McLaren family.

“Every time you have a new team mate it's a real opportunity to learn something new, whether it's work ethic or a driving technique. Or both.”

Norris suggested he would be doing more of the learning than Ricciardo.

“He knows what he needs to get out of a team, he knows what he wants, he knows how to speak to his engineers and get them to do what he wants,” said the Briton. “His experience of being in Formula One over-rides his lack of experience with McLaren.”


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