Andreas Seidl says McLaren has an integration plan sorted for Daniel Ricciardo when he starts his tenure from January onward, along with Mercedes.
With Sainz already having visited Maranello for his Ferrari seat fit work and other basic programmes, Ricciardo put off his work until January, when he formally becomes a McLaren F1 driver. The Australian – at least publicly – is yet to visit Woking’s MTC.
McLaren already has devised an integration programme for Ricciardo as per team boss Seidl. Considering that the Australian will have only 1.5 days of testing in the winter, it will be a huge task to get him up to speed with the car and their way of working.
“Our programme together with Daniel we start from the first of January onwards, we have a clear plan in place, how to integrate him in the best possible way, until we go to the first test, and then to the first race,” said Seidl. “The main focus is on integration on the technical side, on the racing side.
“But in parallel to that we obviously have as a programme in place to integrate him as a team member on the communication side, the marketing side and the business side. And that will start flat out from the beginning of January. Because as I said before, there’s not a lot of time.
“It will involve a lot of sessions, both online nowadays, but at the same time also with a lot of presence at the MTC. The target is to make sure he feels at home with us as quickly as possible. And then looking forward to perform together with him from the first race onwards,” summed up Seidl as he added more on the Mercedes side too.
McLaren is switching from Renault to Mercedes from 2021 F1 season onward. The idea was to have a new partner along with the regulations overhaul but the COVID-19 pandemic forced changes and now the team has to fit the German manufacturer’s unit in what will be mostly a 2020 car, albeit, with some upgrades.
McLaren, though, has some leeway with the token system but still, it will be difficult to get the performance correct straight up. “Our objective is clear,” said Seidl. “With the plan we have in place until the first race next year for both the integration of the Mercedes power unit, but also for the integration of Daniel, as I said.
“We obviously want to be competitive again from the first race onwards. We have a very talented team, a very committed team, with a lot of experience. Our colleagues from Brixworth are obviously very experienced as well, Daniel is an experienced driver. We are aware about the challenge. But at the same time, I’m quite confident that we can overcome this challenge and that we can be in good shape in Melbourne,” Seidl noted.
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