The Australian missed the first two days of running during the final pre-season test in Bahrain due to feeling unwell. McLaren announced on Friday evening that Ricciardo had tested positive for COVID-19, ruling him out of the final day too. 

Ricciardo’s illness has meant teammate Lando Norris has been forced to carry out all of McLaren’s test programme by himself. 

Speaking to media on Saturday, Seidl stressed he has no concerns about Ricciardo’s participation in next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix being under threat. 

“I’m confident he will be fit again next weekend,” said Seidl. “He’s feeling better already but as we know it simply takes a few days until you are fully back in good shape.”

McLaren has several back-up options in the event Ricciardo does not recover in time.

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The Woking-based outfit has an agreement to share Mercedes’ reserve drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, while ex-F1 racer Paul di Resta is also on standby. 

“In terms of reserve drivers, similar to previous years we have an agreement with Mercedes where we share reserve drivers,” Seidl explained. 

“We also have Paul di Resta similar to last year on standby in case it’s needed, but again I expect Daniel to be back in good shape next week.”

While Seidl conceded that missing the entire second week of testing has put both the driver and team on the back foot heading into the new F1 season, he believes Ricciardo’s experience will help soften the setback. 

“In terms of preparation going into the season obviously that’s not what we’ll be aiming form,” Seidl added. “It definitely puts us and Daniel on the back foot as well but in the end that’s something Daniel couldn’t control, we simply have to accept that’s how it is.

“With the experience Daniel has and going also now into the second year together with the team, I’m still optimistic that the small disadvantage that he will have starting the race weekend next week, that hopefully it doesn’t take that long until it is fully compensated for.”