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Ricciardo "happier" following "smoother" weekend

NEWS STORY
10/05/2021

As he continues to settle in at his new home, Daniel Ricciardo admits to leaving Spain "happier", though there is still more to find in himself and his car.

Barcelona will probably go down as Ricciardo's best performance since joining McLaren, though the no-nonsense Australian insists there is still much work to be done.

A barnstorming start saw him discard Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz almost in one go, the McLaren driver claiming fifth, a position he held for much of the race until - his tyres gone - he pitted moments after losing the position to Sergio Perez on Lap 45, finally crossing the line in sixth, 10s behind the Mexican.

"I had some good problems in terms of the start was good, and that got me in front of a couple of faster cars and therefore that meant I then had to defend pretty much the whole race," Ricciardo told reporters at the end of the race.

"With Checo I was doing as much as I could for as long as I could," he continued, "but he got me and then I had Carlos for the last kind of quarter of the race or so.

"We didn't have the pace today," he admitted, "but it was nice to at least hold off a faster car and just put a better weekend together.

"So personally, I'm happier, but we still have obviously something to find in the car and in myself but it was a smoother weekend and definitely the best one of the year so far.

"We're obviously competitive for points," he continued, "but we just need that little extra step. Ferrari had a bit more than us today and obviously we know the Red Bull is fast.

"We know we've still got some work to do but all-in-all it was a smooth, well-executed weekend. The team made some good calls for the pit-stops and I think top-six was the best result possible."

The Australian's "best one of the year" came on a day teammate, Lando Norris struggled, the Briton, who had qualified behind Ricciardo, finishing eighth, a lap down on the winner.

Looking ahead to Monaco, of which he has bittersweet memories, he said: "I'm excited to go there... it's been two years.

"It's a track that you don't get the privilege of driving, first of all," he added, "and to miss it for a year, I just can't wait to go there.

"And then we'll figure it out after that, and it will just be a joy and a pleasure to turn a wheel around there again."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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1. Posted by kenji, 10/05/2021 13:57

"It was just so refreshing to see Ricciardo getting some better performance out of the car and naturally, of himself. These cars are just so tricky to drive that it takes time to settle in.Hopefully he casn maintain the progress and Monaco is one of his happy hunting grounds. He really has two wins as the one he lost, in the records, was emphatically his and Hamilton only won it by default. So Daniel, go go go and let's see how it it all pans out at this, the most demanding circuit for precision driving, at insane speeds..."

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