Daniel Ricciardo is still on a high after winning the Italian Grand Prix, and wants to build on that performance in Sochi.
After a difficult first half of the 2021 campaign, the Aussie looked like his old self in Monza, delivering a stunning performance to secure his first win since 2018 and McLaren’s first since 2012.
Afterwards, he said that only his victory in Monaco in 2018 matched it in terms of emotions, and two weeks on, it still makes him happy to think about it.
He wants to make sure it wasn’t a one-off, though, and is determined to carry his strong form to Russia.
“A week on from Monza, it still feels good thinking about being back on that top step of the podium. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to end a triple-header,” he said in the team’s preview for the race.
“I loved competing at the front of the grid and having the chance to fight for the win. The one-two finish is a product of hard work throughout the team and from myself.
“Since the start of my journey with McLaren I’ve been working through the challenges that come with adapting to a new car, but the team has been really supportive throughout.
“It’s great to have a result that completes that picture, and to have the team back in the winner’s circle has been a ride and I’ve only been a part of it for six months. It’s been the boost we all needed.
“I’ve definitely taken time to enjoy the moment but now it’s time to focus on Russia. I want to build on my Monza performance this weekend and will be pushing to score important points to keep up the fight with our competitors.”
McLaren's last 1-2 finish?
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) September 12, 2021
Ricciardo’s win last time out was made even better by the fact that Lando Norris finished in P2, securing the dream result for the British team.
The Brit has cautioned them against getting carried away though and, while Ferrari now trail them by 15 points, he still thinks it’s a tight fight.
“We’re not getting carried away as we know it won’t be like this every weekend,” he said.
“We need to continue to put ourselves in the best position possible and maximise the car, pit-stops, strategy and everything in between.
“Heading into Russia, the battle for third in the Constructors’ is still tight and looks set to stay that way until the last race of the season.
“Hopefully we can keep the momentum going from Italy and score some solid points for the team.”
Can McLaren stay at the front after Monza success?
Can McLaren stay at the front after Monza win?
After the highs of the Italian GP, where McLaren will stack up in Russia will be an interesting sub-plot in Sochi.