Ricciardo sees 'best chance' to win F1 title at McLaren from 2022

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Daniel Ricciardo believes McLaren, under Formula 1's new 2022 rules, represents his "best chance" to become champion.

Earlier this week, the Australian began the next chapter of his career by shaking down the new MCL35M at Silverstone, a day after the first McLaren-Mercedes since 2014 was launched.

And speaking to the media prior to the launch, Ricciardo admitted the atmosphere he arrived to at Woking has already had an impact on him.

“Being in the McLaren factory these past couple of weeks, meeting the mechanics and the engineers, there’s a huge buzz,” he said.

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“There’s a feeling of a hungry team that has gone through some tough times. But the resurgence is happening, it’s real, and they know success could be in the short-term future. I felt that from the first day I walked through the door.

“The feeling that I can help them achieve that success sooner is all the motivation I need," Ricciardo noted.

“Finishing third in the Constructors’ Championship was big last year and they have a bit of swag about them, which I really like.

“They want more, they are ready to make that next leap, and it seems realistic. It’s exciting to be a part of that.”

Indeed, while retaining third in the Constructors' seems the most attainable goal this season, Ricciardo sees huge potential for McLaren to become a front-running team under F1's new regulations

“I certainly feel like McLaren has done the right things, particularly in the last few years to set themselves up, in particular, for these rule changes coming in 2022,” he said.

“I think that the next era of F1 has the ability to certainly turn the field around a little bit. Everything I’ve seen and everything I’ve known up until now really excites me about where McLaren is heading.

“I think this is my best chance to achieve what I’ve said all along is the goal,” the 31-year-old added, speaking to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I didn’t ever want to get to F1 just to get to F1 – I wanted to be World Champion and I still do. McLaren, with the way they are progressing, feels like the best chance for me to be able to do that, maybe the best chance I’ve had.

“You never know in this sport but I’m confident I’m in the right place. Can I sit here and say I can fight for a World Championship next year? Who knows, but I feel confident I’m in the right place to give myself a good shot at it.

“You can see McLaren’s pathway to getting better and I feel McLaren is ready for me to be one of the elements they haven’t had to help them win.”

 Also on Monday, Ricciardo revealed a previously unknown fact about his McLaren deal...

“It’s three years, so it’s certainly enough time to get this thing going,” he stated.