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“Rapid progression” led to Ricciardo’s McLaren move

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren F1 and Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren F1 look on from the grid during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted McLaren’s “rapid progression” is what prompted him to leave Renault and move to McLaren for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The Australian had a rough start to his partnership with the French squad in 2019 but improved during the 2020 season, which saw the 31-year-old driver achieve 12 top tens and 2 podiums, finishing fifth in the championship with 119 points.

“I think what I saw in the last couple of years was a rapid progression,” Ricciardo said. “I think a lot of teams have made progress, but it didn’t seem like any at the race McLaren had.

“They’ve gone through a big restructure through 2015, 16, 17, and it felt like it had now been in the right place where they’ve got now some stability and then this rapid progression. So that’s what I see.”

Ricciardo also commented on the ambiance inside McLaren, saying the work ethic is “really good” and that he wants to fit in as soon as possible to be a positive “piece to the puzzle” inside the team.

“I think the work ethic around the team is really good and I’m trying to just embed myself and try to be another positive piece to the puzzle,” he concluded.

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