Australia top 10 will feel like a win for Ricciardo

Henry Valantine
Daniel Ricciardo smiles. Australia April 2022.

Given McLaren’s difficulties at the moment, Daniel Ricciardo feels a points finish would be “like a win” for him and the team this weekend.

He and Lando Norris struggled for pace in Bahrain and, while they improved in Saudi Arabia, Norris said that nothing had changed on the car, but the Jeddah layout merely suited the MCL36 better that weekend.

Ricciardo had been running inside the points before a loss of drive prevented him from finishing in Jeddah, while Norris managed to take P7 finish for the Woking outfit.

The Australian feels that the team will be unlikely to compete higher up the field until the car is significantly upgraded, so he and McLaren may have to take what is available to them at Albert Park.

“Maybe we will be lucky and fight for points. I know we’re not aiming very high with that, but that’s the only thing we can go for at the moment,” Ricciardo said, per the Dutch edition of GPFans.

“Until we get major updates to the car, I think any place in the top ten feels like a win. Lando and I felt in Jeddah that the car felt a lot better.

“It doesn’t feel bad, we just need a bit more grip and downforce. That’s encouraging. I don’t think we are out of the race, we just need to find improvements.”

Having had a couple of years away, Ricciardo said separately that he is looking forward to finally getting out on home turf again, on a new Albert Park layout on which he had some input in creating.

He added that every driver he speaks to loves the chance to race in Australia, and he has spent some time at home in Perth before the weekend gets underway in earnest.

“I am beyond excited to get back out on track in Melbourne,” he said in McLaren’s race preview.

“Nothing beats a home crowd, and the Australian fans are some of the best in the world.

 

“I’ve been back in Perth since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and I feel rested, prepared and excited to get stuck into one of my favourite weekends of the year.

“It will also be great to try out the new layout for myself, particularly the sweeping right hander as it seems fast.”

 

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