Daniel Ricciardo is excited at the potential to join McLaren's roll of honour and add to his seven victories in Formula 1.
The Australian will officially be unveiled as a McLaren driver on Monday when the team launch their 2021 challenger. He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton who all had great triumphs with the team.
“I think this is my best chance to achieve what I’ve said all along is the goal,” said Ricciardo 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’re 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 that I can fight for a world championship next year? Who knows, but I feel confident that 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.”
Ricciardo has spent the last two weeks in the McLaren factory after spending most of the off-season in California. He is buoyed by what he has seen and is looking forward to driving the car for the first time.
"Being in the McLaren factory these past couple of weeks, meeting the mechanics and the engineers, there’s a huge buzz,” added Ricciardo.
“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 that 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. 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’re ready to make that next leap, and it seems realistic. It’s exciting to be a part of that.”