Ricciardo on home success: ‘I want it so bad’

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Ricciardo on home success: ‘I want it so bad’

Formula 1

Ricciardo on home success: ‘I want it so bad’

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Daniel Ricciardo says he desperately wants to stand on the podium at his home Australian Grand Prix and admits it’s the only result that would make his fans happy despite McLaren’s tough start to 2022.

McLaren was well off the pace in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after a difficult final test, but made steps forward in Saudi Arabia where Lando Norris finished seventh. While Ricciardo himself has yet to score a point after retiring in Jeddah, he says a top three result in Melbourne is the only real outcome he’d be fully happy with.

“Honestly, as simple as it sounds I don’t have any points yet,” Ricciardo said. “It’s only been two races but to get into the points is a start — that’s like a bare minimum. But realistically the only thing that’s probably going to make everyone happy is a podium, so that’s what I would love.

“Don’t get me wrong, I want it so bad. And I think it would be the first shoey I ever do where I wouldn’t be alone. I am pretty sure I’d look down at the crowd and there would be others doing it with me. So a collaborative shoey would be the dream.”

Ricciardo’s best finish in his home grand prix is fourth on two occasions for Red Bull, while he was originally classified second in 2014 on his Red Bull debut but later excluded for a technical infringement.

Despite the struggles McLaren has faced so far this year, Ricciardo says the length of the season and the immature regulations give him reason to be optimistic, on top of the fact he thinks the updated Albert Park circuit will suit the team’s car more.

“I think we showed more promise in Saudi in the high-speed, flowing corners. It was a little bit that way last year as well — we felt like that’s where we were very strong in the car and I think it’s similar at the moment. So that’s why looking at the track layout here at Albert Park I’m like, ‘Yeah, it will probably come to us a little bit more.’ We are not the best in those corners but we are competitive so hopefully that will help us out.

“For development, that’s where obviously the first race we were not on the pace — being polite — but I was still upbeat. Sure, you’re disappointed but because it’s new regulations there’s still so much to learn with the car. I am still very optimistic and confident that we can develop the car still throughout the year pretty well. At some point we will just hopefully get onto something and be in much better shape.”

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