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Monday, March 8, 2021

Daniel Ricciardo: F1 seat fit woes behind me at McLaren

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The Australian has not had an easy time squeezing into cars in the past, and he had a difficult baptism at McLaren as a first mock-up seat proved to be slightly too narrow and adjustments had to be made.

However, while the final fitting inside the MCL35M has proved to be okay for the Australian, he says that his hips – which often caused headaches inside the ultra-tight Red Bull cockpits – always need to be taken into account.

“I do have wide hips – I guess. I’m pretty thick boned,” said Ricciardo when asked about the progress since the tricky first seat fit.

“But I got in, so it was kind of the first mock up of the seat. And with the dimensions that they had, they kind of assumed what would be okay for me. But it wasn’t quite okay.

“Fortunately, it was just the seat and it wasn’t the actual keel itself that is too narrow. Since then I have been able to get in a seat and I do fit.”

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Ricciardo says that as teams have pushed the boundaries in terms of slimming the cockpit width down, his hips mean that there is not much more room for designers to play with.

However, he is convinced that any performance deficit a team would face if it could not slim the cockpit down enough would be more than made up for through him being more at ease and able to drive better.

“I feel like I’m certainly the limit,” he said. “I think the way they design the cars and the chassis now, everything’s trying to be as tight and compact as possible.

“Really my hips are sometimes the limiting factor. So, I just tell them, ‘just make sure I’m comfortable, and if you think that loses you a tenth of aerodynamics, then I’ll just drive faster on track!”

Ricciardo had his first run in the new McLaren MCL35M during a filming day at Silverstone earlier this week, and will return to action for the first pre-season test at Bahrain next month.



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