McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says that incoming driver Daniel Ricciardo can win Formula 1 world championships right now if he is given the right car.
Ricciardo is set to join McLaren from Renault in 2021 to pair with Lando Norris and fill the seat of the departing Carlos Sainz who himself is taking the seat of the departing Sebastian Vettel at Scuderia Ferrari.
In an interview with Sky Sports F1, Brown gave high praise to Ricciardo and his driving ability.
“I think in the right car Daniel is capable of winning a championship immediately,” Brown said.
“He’s extremely marketable from a commercial standpoint, he’s a very exciting driver. I think the combination of him and Lando will be awesome, and they’ll be kind of the fan favourites, on and off the track.”
McLaren hope that the seven-time Grands Prix winner Ricciardo, alongside a return to Mercedes engines, will help them continue their fight to become a winning force once again in Formula 1.
The Woking outfit finished fourth in the constructors’ championship in 2019 ahead of Ricciardo’s current team Renault.
Brown also told Sky Sports F1 that he believes McLaren now has the “most interesting” driver lineup in 2021, and spoke on the team’s progression back up the grid.
“We’re kind of on this road to recovery, and last year was a big step forward. With that you need to have the best of everything if you can get it,” Brown explained.
“I think in a relatively short period of time Andreas [Seidl] as our team principal has been a great addition to our team, James Key has started, then a lot of people you don’t see behind the scenes, who ultimately contribute to a race team being successful.
“We restructured the entire leadership team, that took some time, they are now all in place. Andreas really has the race team where he wants it.
“Then of course you want to have two great drivers, which we currently have today, but to be able to have a seven-time winner, someone that you know is the absolute benchmark, is great for the team.
“And also it gives Lando a chance to step up and give us a chance to see Lando in action against a seven-time winner.”