Ricciardo hails reliability of McLaren’s 2022 car

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris tested McLaren's 2022 challenger last week in Barcelona.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo admits that there are areas his team still need to work on before the 2022 season gets up and running, but is generally happy with how the first two days of pre-season went in Barcelona.

The Australian ended day two third on the timesheets, six tenths of a second adrift of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, amassing 126 laps in the process.

This followed two red flags for Sergio Perez and Nikita Mazepin, whose respective Red Bull and Haas cars stopped on the circuit.

Ricciardo praised the Woking team’s work on the car over the winter, and said he enjoyed a productive day in Spain.

“[It was] a good day from many angles. I think reliability was great,” he said in a McLaren press release on day two of the Barcelona pre-season test.

“That’s on the team and everyone who’s worked hard to put this car together, so massive thank you to them.

“They’re pretty awesome to build a whole new car, put it on track and have it run so smoothly, so big thanks to them again.”

The 32-year-old’s team-mate Lando Norris ended day one fastest having completed 103 laps, and he has therefore been able to absorb information about the car, but he acknowledges there is more progress to be made.

“Both days have been over 100 laps, which for me and Lando gives us more opportunity to learn the car and push ourselves, so really pleased with that,” he added.

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“We’ve got some good strengths and we just need to keep working on a few of the areas where we can improve.”

McLaren’s executive director of racing Andrea Stella, who moved to McLaren from Ferrari with Fernando Alonso in 2015, added that the team are perennially learning about their new challenger, and found “no particular problems” following Ricciardo’s outing on day two.

“Our second day of testing in Barcelona has been very productive,” he said.

“With Daniel in the car today, we were able to put together a lot of laps with no particular problems, either from an operational or a reliability point of view.

“We’ve completed a series of tests and acquired a lot of information on tyre performance, set-up and aerodynamics,” the racing director revealed.

“We’re learning more about this new car with each run, and this is helping us extract the most from the MCL36 in preparation for the season ahead.”