The 2021 Formula 1 season opener is just days away, as McLaren prepare to hit the track at the Bahrain GP.
Opening the Formula 1 season for the first time, the Bahrain GP is set to kick off this weekend. In what the FIA and F1 are hoping will be race one of a planned 23 races for 2021.
After a successful three days of testing, also held at the Bahrain International Circuit, McLaren are ready to hit track. As the team look to hold onto their coveted third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
And, while their 2021 challenger, the MCL35M, performed relatively successfully during testing. The Bahrain GP will provide McLaren the opportunity to see just how good of a car they have for the season. Competing against what appears to be an even closer midfield than 2020.
Heading into his third F1 season with McLaren, Lando Norris is ready to take on Bahrain, as he says it’s a track that he’s become very familiar with.
“We were only out in Bahrain a couple of weeks ago for pre-season testing and looking further back it was only a few months ago since we raced there, so I’m looking forward to doing it again,” Norris said. “I’ve had some good performances there during my career and it’s a track I’ve become very familiar with.
“Even though we only had a few days to test, during those days and in the lead-up to this weekend we’ve been able to learn a decent amount about the car and do some correlation work in the simulator, which has been helpful.
“I feel confident and ready to enter my third year in Formula 1. My aim is to keep building on my previous experience and help the team progress as much as possible.”
Daniel Ricciardo’s first outing in papaya
This might be Norris’ third season with the Woking-based team. But it is Australian Daniel Ricciardo’s first.
And McLaren have high hopes that Ricciardo, working alongside Norris, can continue to push the team in the right direction. Towards the front of the grid!
His speed and aggressive overtaking on the track, coupled with his grand prix winning experience. Is what led to McLaren pursuing him over the course of the past several years.
The Bahrain GP should provide Ricciardo the chance to utilise that speed and aggressiveness. With plenty of opportunities for late braking around the track.
“I’m really excited for the start of the season,” Ricciardo said. “It’s the beginning of a new chapter, my first race in papaya and I can’t wait to get started. It’s also a special race with Bahrain being the team’s home-from-home.
“In my first few months at McLaren the team has made me feel right at home in such a short space of time. I feel confident and comfortable going into the new season, which is important as I want to get the most out of the car right from race one.
“As a team we made the most of pre-season testing with some smooth running. It was great to get to grips with the MCL35M in just the few days that we had to put it through its paces. I think, naturally, it takes a bit of time to adjust to a new car, but I’m feeling prepared to hit the track come Friday. It’s an exciting circuit with a few big braking zones and plenty of opportunities for overtaking.”