Ricciardo sixth in Australian GP – myGC.com.au

The McLaren driver is dreaming of one day winning the Australian Grand Prix in reaction to the Melbourne crowd when Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line in sixth place.

In his first Formula One event at home since 2019, Ricciardo was able to build a spot after starting Sunday’s race from seventh on the grid as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc secured a comfortable victory.

Unlike some of his previous attempts at Albert Park, the McLaren driver’s GP race was drama-free as he forced world champion Max Verstappen to retire on lap-39.

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The result is sweet relief for Ricciardo, having finished 14th in the season-opener in Bahrain, after failing to finish Saudi Arabia’s GP last month.

Teammate Lando Norris, 32, crossed the line right ahead of Ricciardo, continuing McLaren’s resurgence after a difficult 2022 start.

He banks his first championship point of the season – eight – from the race.

Ricciardo described F1’s Melbourne return after two COVID-19-affected years as “nuts”.

“When I got out of the car there was a lot of loud cheers and I was like ‘man if it’s a cheer for sixth, I can’t imagine winning here or even a podium ‘,” said Ricardo.

“If that happened I’d probably have to put my earplugs in.

“It was awesome and everyone who came out was happy.”

The Perth-born driver has experienced mixed fortunes at his home Grand Prix, his fourth-best result when racing for Red Bull in 2016 and 2018.

In 2014, Ricciardo came in second, but was later disqualified due to illegal fuel flow.

But he has left the Melbourne content this time around and is hoping for better days in his second season with McLaren.

“After Bahrain, I was obviously still very positive and I knew we could make a difference. I didn’t think it would happen already,” said Ricciardo.

“The weekend has been easy for all of us and we have shown a lot going for it.

“Some parts of my race were definitely more competitive …

Ricciardo will be in Australia for a few days before preparing for the Italian GP starting 22 April.

“I’ll try and rehydrate with some beers tonight,” he said.

“I’ve spent a little more time here in Australia than I’d like, but I’ll try and make the most of it.”

© AAP 2022


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