McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo believes his victory at the Italian Grand Prix proves the Woking-based outfit is ready to take the next step in returning to fight for the Formula 1 World Championship.
Ricciardo put in a commanding performance to lead home team-mate Lando Norris at Monza last month to end McLaren’s nine-year wait for a win.
It came as part of McLaren’s recovery, having returned to the podium in 2019 after a prolonged absence, following its difficult phase with Honda.
Speaking on the official F1 podcast Beyond The Grid, he said: “What [the win] did for the team is powerful because the team has 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, so to execute that in probably the highest pressure pit stop of the year, that is what I took from that weekend ‘we’ve got a group of winners here’ and that makes me excited.
“Truth is, Monza proved everything because it’s the win, but it’s everything that happened around that, that showed no one cracked and that’s really important.”
Ricciardo is also excited by the sweeping shift in the technical regulations in 2022 and sees it as an opportunity for McLaren to move closer to the front of the competitive order.
“It’s exciting for the whole sport,” he added. “For us at McLaren certainly see it as another opportunity to get closer again.
“The team has been on an awesome trajectory, I’ve certainly seen and been a part of that this year, so the plan is to continue on that with these rule changes.
“I think there is a bigger opportunity to let’s say, make a bigger step, 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.”