Daniel Ricciardo enters his second Australian Grand Prix wearing Renault colours, and his ninth ever racing at the Albert Park Circuit in Formula 1. Together with the support from a raucous home crowd, Daniel is aiming to score a strong result in Melbourne and kickstart his second season with the team in style.
What are your thoughts on the Renault R.S.20 heading into the season opener?
Pre-season testing was, overall, positive for us. Both Esteban and I racked up a lot of mileage in the car, which is a boost heading into the new season. You don’t really know the true pace of the car or rivals until Saturday, but I’m feeling happy with the overall balance from testing, so let’s see where we are come qualifying. The whole team has worked extremely hard over winter to get the car ready, and I’m very excited to finally get racing.
Describe what it is like racing at your home Grand Prix?
It’s a special feeling racing at home in Australia. I’m away from home for so long during the year, so it’s nice to spend time here with friends and family. The Australian fans are great, and you can really feel their support and use it as extra motivation. I’ve not always had the best race in Melbourne, so I’m looking to try and correct that this year and deliver a strong weekend with Renault.
What’s the Albert Park Circuit like to race?
Albert Park is a fun track to drive with a lot of high and medium speed sections, and it’s nice to experience something different after testing. The technical requirements of the track are different to Barcelona, and you need a good set-up to deliver a strong result. The circuit is also not famed for its overtaking, so qualifying is quite important. My favourite part of the course is probably towards the end. There’s a good overtaking spot into Turn 9, with the bank on the left always packed with fans, so if I pull off an overtake there, it always gets a nice reaction!