McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown believes that Daniel Ricciardo’s arrival in 2021 will allow his team to “take it to the next level.”
We revealed it to you exclusively on F1only.fr last week and it has now been official for a few days, Daniel Ricciardo will leave Renault F1 at the end of the 2020 season and will join McLaren in 2021.
The Australian driver has signed a multi-year contract with the Woking team and will play alongside the young Lando Norris next year.
Ricciardo’s arrival at McLaren should allow the British team to “take it to the next level” in 2021, according to its CEO.
“Signing a Grand Prix winner like Daniel is certainly a sign that we are going in the right direction. " says McLaren CEO Zak Brown to Sky Sports.
"He believes in it, we chased him a few years ago before he made the decision not to join us. I’ve talked to him about it ever since and he said, "You’re coming out of a pretty bad season." "
"I had not yet recruited Andreas Seidl (main team) or James Key (technical director) nor restructured the management team. So there were a lot of promises and, after such a bad season, I wanted to see if he would say "oh, let's see how it goes …"
"He liked how it happened, I like how it happened. He saw the changes we’ve made, the leadership Andreas has brought, the support we have from our shareholders, the arrival of the Mercedes engine (in 2021). We are a moving team and I think it will help us take it to the next level. "
Although McLaren holds Sainz in high esteem and believes that the Spaniard will prosper alongside Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, Brown is excited by the imminent arrival of a driver of Ricciardo's stature – one of the most established and the most prestigious of the grid.
"I think it's really worth it or we wouldn't have done it. What was reported (on wages) is not correct, but he is a very well paid driver. I think it's worth it. " Brown points out.
“He has won seven Grands Prix, and I think that in the right car, he can win a championship immediately. "
"It is extremely bankable from a business point of view. He's a very exciting driver and I think the combination of him and Lando will be great, they will be fan favorites on and off the track. "
"If I think back to McLaren’s history, it’s been a while since we’ve had one or two world champions on the team, and no Grand Prix winners on the team. "
"I think it is definitely a step forward for us on our way to having a Grand Prix winner in our team. "