The Australian has joined Lando Norris at the squad for the forthcoming campaign, the pair enjoying a strong pre-season test a little under two weeks ago.
That, together with investment off-track, the arrival of Riccardo, and the pre-season performance, have seen the team regarded as something of a dark horse for 2021.
“I'm really excited for the start of the season,” said Ricciardo.
“It's the beginning of a new chapter, my first race in papaya (McLaren orange) and I can't wait to get started.
“In my first few months at McLaren the team has made me feel right at home,” he added.
“I feel confident and comfortable going into the new season, which is important as I want to get the most out of the car right from race one.”
While pleased with how testing unfolded, Ricciardo has admitted that he's not fully up to speed with the McLaren MCL35M.
“I think, naturally, it takes a bit of time to adjust to a new car, but I'm feeling prepared to hit the track come Friday,” he reasoned.
“It's an exciting circuit with a few big braking zones and plenty of opportunities for overtaking.
“Racing at dusk is always cool and brings an added challenge to the weekend.
“This season looks like it's going to be a competitive one,” the 31-year-old continued.
“I'm looking to hit the ground running, leave nothing on the table, give it my all for the team and hopefully give the fans something to smile about.”
The Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway on Friday with opening practice beginning at 22:30 AEDT.