Daniel Ricciardo got his first taste of driving a Mercedes-powered McLaren on Tuesday as the team conducted a shakedown of this year's MCL35M at Silverstone, a day after the official car launch.
The team was good enough to ensure that this small piece of history was recorded for posterity, and they've shared it with fans who can get a taste of what it looks and sounds like to be at the cockpit of a 2021 Formula 1 car:
“Slowly shaken out some cobwebs, first few laps done,” he said in a video distributed on the team's official app, adding that the damp conditions had meant he needed to hold back. "It’s probably the worst conditions because it’s greasy. I’m a little cautious on day one, but its all good.”
But it had proved a tight fit for the tall Australian who only just managed to squeeze into the car. “I do have wide hips. I’m pretty thick-boned, I guess, but I got in!" he told FoxSport. “It was the first mock-up of a seat, and with the dimensions they had, and assumed what would be okay for me, wasn’t quite okay.
"The way they design the cars and the chassis now, everything’s trying to be as tight and compact as possible. So really, my hips are sometimes the limiting factor," he continued. “Fortunately, it was just the seat, it wasn’t the actual keel itself which is too narrow.
"Since then I have been able to get in a seat, and I do fit," he said. "I just tell them, ‘Make sure I’m comfortable. If you think that loses you a tenth of aerodynamics then I’ll just drive faster on track!”