Not for the first time, McLaren has encountered issues accommodating a driver with a ‘fuller figure’.
Famously, in 1995, Nigel Mansell missed the first two rounds of the season after discovering he could not fit into the tight confines of the MP4/10, the Briton replaced in these races by Mark Blundell.
Though a new car was built for the 1992 world champion, who finally made his debut for the Woking team at Imola, at the next race, still unhappy with the car Mansell retired from the race and F1.
Hoping beyond hope the history is not repeating itself, Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that fitting into the MCL35M was a struggle, as F1 teams continue to ‘slim down’ in the search for greater aero efficiency.
“I do have wide hips, I guess. I’m pretty thick boned,” said the Australian, referring to his initial seat-fitting. “But I got in, as it was kind of the first mock up of the seat.
“With the dimensions that they had, they kind of assumed what would be okay for me,” he continued. “But it wasn’t quite okay.
“Fortunately, it was just the seat and it wasn’t the actual keel itself that was too narrow. Since then, I have been able to get in the seat and I do fit.
“I feel like I’m certainly the limit,” he admitted “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’!”