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Ricciardo looks to emulate Maldonado

Thursday 17-May-2012 13:10

Daniel Ricciardo is eager to follow in Pastor Maldonado's footsteps and become the third new F1 race winner this season.

Last time out in Spain, Maldonado pulled off the shock of the season - at least to date - as the Williams driver claimed pole position ahead of Fernando Alonso and then beat the Ferrari driver to the victory on merit on the Sunday.

It was a phenomenal achievement and has given many who have yet to claim their first F1 victory a reason to dream, including Ricciardo.

"That's Spain done and dusted and now we can look forward to Monaco, which is obviously a very special place," the Toro Rosso driver told ESPNF1.

"I really enjoy racing there, as I really love street circuits. I've only ever driven proper street tracks at Macau and Monaco but I loved them from the first moment I drove them.

"To race on those bumpy, slippery roads with the walls being so close is fantastic. There's so much going on for a driver to contend with. There's no room for error.

"For me, 2010 was the best. It was my first year in Monaco and I won in Formula Renault 3.5. Then a couple of hours later Mark won the grand prix, so it was like the perfect Aussie weekend.

"I have great memories of that; it was a lot of fun. So I'm hoping for a bit of a repeat next week."

He added: "I think Pastor pulled off a bit of a miracle in Barcelona and I'm hoping to do something like that in Monaco."

But, having said that, the Australian concedes that for now Toro Rosso's main target out on track are the Force India drivers with Williams and Sauber a bit farther up the road.

"I can't believe that a quarter of the season is gone already; it still feels like early days. However, there's still a long way to go and things will keep changing as the season goes on.

"It's a very unpredictable season and it's really hard to know what will happen from race to race. We've had five different winners in five races and that's just incredible. I think that will be the shape of the rest of the season.

"Pastor's win in Barcelona is the perfect example of that unpredictability. Williams were very strong there and judging by the race in Barcelona I think Williams and Sauber are a step in front of us, which means that Force India are now probably our closest rivals."

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