F1: McLaren launch car for new season
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Daniel Ricciardo fired a warning to Mercedes and Red Bull ahead of the 2022 season as he believes he is going into the unpredictable campaign with a group of winners at McLaren. The famous British outfit failed to adapt to the regulations in the turbo-hybrid era dominated by Mercedes, slipping down the grid in 2013.
However, they have turned it around in recent seasons and are now competing with Ferrari for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
Ricciardo secured McLaren’s first win since 2012 when he led from the front to take the chequered flag at Monza.
The Australian believes the composure of his team under pressure made him understand the mentality of the manufacturer as they chase further success next year.
“You said [in a previous question] ‘what did the win do for me?’ you know, also what it did for the team was also just as powerful,” Ricciardo told the Beyond the Grid podcast.
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“Because the team’s been on this trajectory, they’ve had podiums, but to get the win, let’s say, confirms a lot of belief that the team have in themselves to get it done.
“Even going to the mechanics. We had the fastest pit stop of that race in Monza. To do that when the team is not notoriously known for the fastest pit stops, to execute that in probably the highest-pressure pit stop of the year – that is what I took from that weekend.
“Like, man, we’ve got a group of winners here, and that makes me really excited.”
After switching from Renault last season, Ricciardo has struggled at times but the Italian Grand Prix appeared to suggest he has turned a corner, with teammate Lando Norris finishing second for a one-two.
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The 32-year-old got an excellent start and sped past championship leader Max Verstappen to claim the lead at Turn 1 – a lead he would not relinquish.
With the new regulation changes set to shake up the order, Ricciardo hopes McLaren
“It’s exciting for the whole sport. For us at McLaren, we certainly see it as maybe another opportunity to get closer again,” he added.
“The team has been on an awesome trajectory. I’ve certainly felt that and been a part of that this year, so the plan is to continue on that.
“With these rule changes, I think there’s a bigger opportunity to, let’s say, make a bigger step, but every team has the same opportunity. Every team is thinking the same, so it’s not just us, but the thought of it makes me smile.”
Ricciardo came home in fifth at the United States Grand Prix, beating teammate Norris as well as the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.
It scored the Australian 10 points in the world championship, leaving him in eighth in the Drivers’ Standings on 105 points.
Formula 1 returns to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the Mexican Grand Prix on November 7, with Red Bull star Verstappen holding a slender 12-point lead over Mercedes’ Hamilton.
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