Ricciardo happy that pre-season testing is going to plan

Daniel Ricciardo is happy that McLaren’s pre-season testing for the 2021 Formula 1 world championship is going to plan.

McLaren has had a promising test in Bahrain so far, topping a number of sessions over the opening two days, a stark contrast to recent years where the Woking-based squad has been plagued with reliability issues.

And Ricciardo , who has joined McLaren from Renault, confirmed that the team is on schedule with its testing programme and that he is pleased with the progress they have made.

“Another positive day, it’s been a good test so far and I’m looking forward to the evening session I’ll be running in tomorrow.” said the Australian.

“We’ve been able to get a lot of laps in and tick off every run we had planned, which is important for us in terms of reliability and starting to build my confidence in the car.”

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Ricciardo has only had seat time during morning sessions so far, but he will get his first taste of evening conditions on Sunday.

An he confirmed that he is keen to have some experience of the circuit at night so that he can acclimatise to the conditions ahead of the opening race of the season in two weeks time.

“All I’m missing now is that evening session, I’ve had two of the morning sessions when the track is hot and usually we come here at night.” he added.

“But tomorrow, I’m on track later on and I think I’ll be able to push the car a bit more and get a better feeling of how comfortable I am, as well as a better understanding of how ready we are for two weeks’ time.”

McLaren’s Technical Executive Director, James Key was also equally happy that the team managed to complete in excess of 100 laps on Saturday as it meant they could work on both aero development and improving the integration of the Mercedes power unit.

“A useful day of testing – it’s good to get both drivers back in the car again after they’ve had some time to process and analyse what they experienced on day one.” said Key.

“We had quite a varied programme today which we got through as we’d hoped, covering over 100 laps between our two drivers, who worked on a number of aero tests and measurements, looked at some different tyre compounds in a bit more detail than yesterday, as well as completed both one-lap configurations and longer running which will give a bit of a heads-up of what to expect in those conditions.

“Our set-up tests were useful in confirming some of the learning and direction we gained from day one when we had more difficult track conditions than today.

“We also were able to conduct some tests to sign off aspects of our new power unit installation and operation with our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, which were completed as planned.”