Daniel Ricciardo says seeing team-mate Lando Norris score a podium last time out makes him “super motivated” moving forward.
Now that the potential of his McLaren MCL35M has been confirmed with Norris finishing P4 and P3 in the opening two races of the season, Ricciardo said he hopes to get up to pace quickly to get the best out of himself.
The seven-time race winner has admitted he has not quite managed to get to grips with his surroundings just yet, with shortened pre-season testing and a change of team playing a part in his early struggles in 2021.
With a new challenge awaiting at the Portuguese Grand Prix this weekend, Ricciardo says he is looking forward to getting back racing again and hopefully getting closer to finding the limit of his McLaren.
“Up next is Portimao and I’m eager to get back in the car,” the Australian said. “Racing there is a lot of fun with the track having some unique elements that you don’t see at every race on the calendar.
“There’s a good mixture of high and low-speed corners with various changes in elevation that make it an exciting challenge. Coming out of some of the turns, you can really feel your stomach drop with the steep changes in gradient.
“This weekend, I want to keep building on the progress we’ve made in the first two races and put what we learned at Imola into practice.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) April 27, 2021
With the strong performances of McLaren seeing them sitting P3 in the early Constructors’ Championship standings, Ricciardo remains confident that he will get faster lap by lap as he increases his time in the car.
He added: “We’ve definitely started the season on the right foot by scoring good points for the Constructors’ Championship, so I can’t be too disappointed on that front.
“There are a few elements I’m still trying to get to grips with which is only going to get better with more time behind the wheel.
“Seeing Lando achieve a podium showed the potential of the car which is super motivating. We’re only three races in and there’s a lot more to come from me, so let’s keep it going.”