Ricciardo already has one eye on next year, but 2020 could be a telling season
• Ricciardo to join McLaren in 2021
• His decision based largely on 2019 performance
• Ricciardo wants to return to winning races
Daniel Ricciardo recently spilled the beans as to why he is going to McLaren next - a move some feel is not in his best interest. But Ricciardo, ever the smiling Australian, is adamant that it is and that he is confident of McLaren's progress going into 2020 and 2021; when he is set to join them.
Questions about this move revolve around McLaren who, up until 2018, still struggled to lift itself from Formula 1's doldrums. They were a struggling outfit and what's not to say that 2019 was nothing but a fluke season?
Did Ricciardo act hastily by signing with the British team before not knowing how they're performance will be compared to Renault's (Ricciardo's current team)?
Much has been said about McLaren and their fourth-place finish in the 2019 season, one position ahead of Renault on the championship ladder. The team has improved vastly throughout last season and, given that this year's cars are an evolution of last year's, it can be expected that McLaren will again be competitive.
But what if McLaren got the formula wrong for 2020 (just as it's speculated Ferrari has) and Renault is the better team between the two? What if, going into 2021, McLaren's car takes an even more significant step back and the reunion with Mercedes engines does not live up to expectation?
Just as we're looking at the benefits and disadvantages of McLaren, the same can be applied to Renault. The will share very little information with Ricciardo throughout the 2020 season and will put their full support behind Esteban Ocon - Ricci's partner.
If the stars align and 2021 and beyond works for McLaren, like we're hoping it will, Ricciardo will be in pouncing seat to challenge for podiums and victories again.