Daniel Ricciardo heads to Shanghai on the back of a positive day’s testing in Bahrain, as he continues to grow his familiarisation with team and car. Daniel, race winner in China in 2018, is determined for another bright outing in the Far East.
How comfortable are you becoming in the car, especially after the Bahrain test?
I’m certainly getting there in terms of extracting the maximum and getting more comfortable. These things do take time, but it’s good to iron out these details going forward. We’ll get there soon and sure enough and I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction. We showed signs of that over the race weekend, going from a struggle on Friday, followed by an improvement on Saturday to being in and amongst it on Sunday. The car clearly has pace, but for me, it’s about finding all of it. I feel there’s a lot more to come.
What are your thoughts on the Shanghai International Circuit?
Up until last year, China was a circuit I always seemed to go really well at but without taking a podium. I knew I was due a podium in China and last season that came alive. It was a really good win, coming from sixth on the grid. I probably made one of the overtakes of the year on Valtteri [Bottas] into the tight Turn 6, so that made it even sweeter!
In terms of the track layout, it’s actually quite unique. There are long straights, a really tricky Turn 1 and lots of overtaking opportunities. You can pass at Turns 6, 9 and 14 too; there are some decent places to outdo people on the brakes, which is cool.
What’s there to say about the Chinese culture?
Shanghai is a bit of a commute from the circuit, but there are lots of things to do including enjoying some of the cuisine and seeing some sights; it’s a really cool city! The atmosphere there is growing, the fans are quite hardcore with lots of photos you’ve never seen before to sign. They are great people and make a brilliant effort to come out and support.