‘Daniel Ricciardo is feeling unwell’: McLaren driver replaced by Norris for first day of Bahrain test

McLaren were forced to swap out Daniel Ricciardo for Lando Norris after the Australian fell ill overnight.

Charles Leclerc ended the morning session of the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain fastest following a late enforced driver change for McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo was forced to miss the first day of the second pre-season test in Bahrain after falling ill overnight, with Lando Norris taking the reigns on day one of the morning test.

The Australian was set to get behind the wheel of the MCL36 on day one, but reported to his team that he was feeling under the weather, and was not well enough to go to the paddock and get drive the car on day one.

“McLaren Racing will change its driver line-up for day one of the test,” they said on Twitter.

“Daniel Ricciardo is feeling unwell, therefore Lando Norris will be in the car for the opening day here at the Bahrain International Circuit.”

McLaren struggled in the morning session, with the Briton only managing 21 laps before a brake issue on the car confined him to the garage for much of it, as he ended eighth on the timing screens.

Leclerc topped the opening few hours of running on the C3 tyre, half a second clear of Alex Albon, who was the only driver to utilise the C4 rubber.

Sergio Perez ended fourth for Red Bull, but managed the most laps of anyone with 70 on the board.

Sir Lewis Hamilton was fifth fastest, one-and-a-half seconds off the pace as Mercedes tested out their all-new design which features a complete absence of sidepods.

Article continues below

Haas, meanwhile, were forced to miss the entirety of the morning after freight issues ment that they could not set themselves up in time to get out on track, but test and reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi is expected to run in the afternoon session later on.

It was initially suspected that the Brazilian might start the season alongside Mick Schumacher, but in a remarkable turn of events, Kevin Magnussen has been recalled after a season out of the pinnacle of motorsport last year.

“I was very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas,” said Magnussen.

“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of an F1 car.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner is also delighted to be able to bring the 29-year-old’s experience back to compliment Schumacher’s youth.

“I’m delighted to be able to welcome Kevin back to Haas F1 Team,” he added.

“When looking for a driver who could bring value to the team, not to mention a wealth of Formula 1 experience, Kevin was a straightforward decision for us.”