There’s a lot of excitement ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s impending switch to McLaren for the 2021 season, and it seems the move couldn’t be coming at a better time for the Aussie.
As the Aussie F1 star prepares for his final race with Renault ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, McLaren are on the verge of a massive milestone.
Their two current drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz have qualified fourth and sixth at Yas Marina Circuit, meaning that McLaren has a shot at a third place finish in the constructors’ championship for the first time since 2012.
The revitalisation comes as the team also prepare to use a Mercedes power unit in their vehicles next season which should go a way to closing the gap on the F1 frontrunners, with the acquisition of Ricciardo perhaps the crowning jewel of the groundswell behind McLaren.
As if that couldn’t get any better, Sky News now reports that a consortium of US-based investors are on the verge of buying a big stake in Ricciardo’s soon-to-be team.
It is expected that it will inject £185m ($A325m) into McLaren Racing over two years. Sky reports that the deal could be announced as early as Sunday.
The stars seem to be aligning for Ricciardo as he prepares to fit in to blossoming McLaren jigsaw, but ever the professional, the Aussie is only focussed on the job at hand.
“It’s a shame finishing twelfth today as we looked quick this morning (in practice) with third and fourth and we were aiming for much higher than that,” said Ricciardo after qualification.
“We got through to Q2 quite comfortably with just one fast lap on the softs, but then we struggled to match the pace on both medium and soft tyres. I don’t think we know why yet, so we’ll take a look at it tonight.
“I don’t like starting eleventh, but we both have tyre choice tomorrow so that’s a positive from today as strategy is going to be key in the race.
“We saw last weekend how starting on the medium tyres can pay off, so we have options tomorrow. It’s my last race with the team too and I want to make sure we end this on a high.”