It didn’t take long for McLaren to find a new driver after Carlos Sainz decided to sign with Ferrari. The team announced on Thursday that they have secured the services of talented Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, will join McLaren on a multi-year deal in 2021.
Ricciardo, who has seven career wins in F1, spent the previous season with Renault and finished 9th on the end-year rankings. He was also linked with Ferrari as a replacement for Sebastian Vettel, but reportedly preferred McLaren where he will presumably be No.1 driver in front of Lando Norris.
“Signing Daniel is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team, alongside Lando. This is good news for our team, partners and of course our fans,” said McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown in a statement.
Daniel Ricciardo was close to joining McLaren in 2018 after his contract with Red Bull came to an end. He opted for Renault at the time, but it didn’t turn out to be the best decision. Renault’s cars weren’t competitive enough to propel him to a championship pursuit, which is one of the reasons why Ricciardo was set to finding a new challenge next year.
Ricciardo’s F1 career stats include seven wins, 29 podiums, and three pole positions. His best results came in 2014 and 2016 when he finished 3rd overall.