F1 news: Daniel Ricciardo lifts lid on secret McLaren trip before Red Bull exit

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Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he made a secret trip to McLaren’s headquarters in Woking to buy a car during his time with Red Bull and he kept the venture a secret from his employers.

Ricciardo has always been a McLaren fan and his dream came true when he signed for the British manufacturer for the upcoming campaign.

The Australian was speaking at his team’s 2021 car unveiling when he admitted it was not his first visit to McLaren’s base.

“Growing up a fan of Formula One fan you remember two teams; Ferrari and McLaren,” Renault said.

“One of the very first gifts I bought myself in F1, after a pair of jeans, was a McLaren road car.

“That was when I was first at Red Bull so I had to keep it a little bit under wraps.

“I came here to spec the car out and even going to the automotive side the guys were like ‘You can’t really be seen here’.

“I have been a fan of the brand for quite a long time.”

Ricciardo finished fifth in the Drivers’ Championship with Renault last year and he explained the strange circumstances which surrounded his negotiations with McLaren.

He added: “2020 was weird in general but I was out on the farm and the wifi was limited, let along phone signal.

“I was trying to figure out my future in these circumstances and the next person of advice was either a sheep or a cattle.

“I took silence as goodness so that was that.

“It was unique but it also gave me the clarity that I needed being out there in the middle of nowhere.”

Ahead of the car unveiling, Ricciardo spoke about his upcoming battle with team-mate Lando Norris.

“Yeah, it’s funny because I’m certainly the more experienced in terms of F1,” he said.

“This being my 11th season, but actually in terms of McLaren Lando has more experience.

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“So, for sure there are some things I can learn from him, particularly within the team itself, you know and kind of integration into the McLaren.

“Every time you have a new team-mate it’s a real opportunity to learn something new, whether it’s work ethic, or a driving technique, or both.

“So, yeah, I’m always pretty open-minded and I know every driver has confidence in themselves and their ability, but I am very confident as an individual, but I’m also open-minded, and if there is something that I can take from Lando and use it to better myself, then obviously I’m looking to learn as much as I can.

“I do believe that the competition on track will be good, it will be fierce, and more importantly, I think driving the team forward.

“And that’s something which we really obviously want to state amongst ourselves and do the best for the team and then, you know, go for it when the lights go out.”

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