McLaren's technical director James Key is hoping that Daniel Ricciardo's race-winning pedigree can transform the Woking-based team back into a 'top team'.
Ricciardo comes to McLaren off the back of the team finishing third in the constructor's championship with the team now being powered by Mercedes Key is hopeful that 2021 will be the year that McLaren gets ever closer to ending their eight-year race win drought when speaking to F1 Nation.
“He’ll bring great experience,” said Key. “He’ll bring a lighter, sort of jovial touch as well in some cases. He’s a great character out of the car as well as in, but he’ll bring a great deal of experience and a huge amount of determination."
“I think what always impressed me with Daniel is this massive amount of determination he has, particularly when he’s driving; you can really feel and see that. You listen to his radio messages when he’s driving, and he’s a very different character to when he’s out of the car and relaxed.
“He’s incredibly determined when he’s racing, and I think that, with his experience and his confidence and what he can do, now that he’s a genuine well-established race winner – I think all of that will bring good confidence to the team, and a slightly different kind of aspect to how we see certain things with the car technically as well. He’ll bring good knowledge in for that.”
Kay also believes that Ricciardo's signing will fill the gap left behind by Carlos Sainz's departure to Ferrari as the Australian takes over the Spaniard's role as number one driver alongside Lando Norris.
“It will leave a gap but his replacement will fill the gap very well. It’s great to have Dan on board, and having worked with him… in the past, I know he’ll bring new and different opinions and ways of working to the team, which will be welcome. So there’s a gap to fill, but we’ve got a great guy to fill it.”