McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says Daniel Ricciardo can win Formula 1 world championships “immediately” in the “right car”.

Seven-time grand prix winner Ricciardo will join McLaren on a multi-year deal next season as replacement for Carlos Sainz, who has signed for Ferrari to fill the vacant seat left by Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian will partner Lando Norris at the Woking outfit following the expiry of his current contract at Renault, having originally opted to sign for the French manufacturer over McLaren back in 2018 as he weighed up his future at Red Bull.

“I think in the right car Daniel is capable of winning a championship immediately,” Brown told Sky Sports F1.

“He’s extremely marketable from a commercial standpoint, he’s a very exciting driver.

“I think the combination of he and Lando will be awesome, and they’ll be kind of the fan favourites, on and off the track.”

McLaren heads into the upcoming 2020 season looking to build on the vast progress it made last year, having comfortably beat Renault to fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

The British squad hopes to continue its upward trajectory in its bid to re-establish itself as a winning force in F1 and is set for a further boost when it returns to Mercedes engines next year.

Brown believes McLaren now boasts the “most exciting” driver-line up on the 2021 grid and reckons the arrival of Ricciardo will bring out the best in Norris.

“We’re kind of on this road to recovery, and last year was a big step forward. With that you need to have the best of everything if you can get it,” Brown explained.

“I think in a relatively short period of time Andreas [Seidl] as our team principal has been a great addition to our team, James Key has started, then a lot of people you don’t see behind the scenes, who ultimately contribute to a race team being successful.

“We restructured the entire leadership team, that took some time, they are now all in place. Andreas really has the race team where he wants it.

“Then of course you want to have two great drivers, which we currently have today, but to be able to have a seven-time winner, someone that you know is the absolute benchmark, is great for the team.

“And also it gives Lando a chance to step up and give us a chance to see Lando in action against a seven-time winner.”

 

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