Ricciardo praises McLaren’s ‘major step forward’ after difficult start

McLaren’s improvement at the Australian Grand Prix was praised by Daniel Ricciardo, who was thrilled with the squad’s first double points achievement of the season.


After a much-improved effort at the Australian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo praised it as a “huge step forward” for him and McLaren.

McLaren entered in Melbourne with only a few points on the board, thanks to Lando Norris’ effort in Saudi Arabia, and early-season reliability and performance issues.

But things got a lot better at the new, speedier Albert Park track, which the British team expected to perform to their car’s strengths, with both Ricciardo and Norris appearing competitive right away.

McLaren get a double points finish on the board

Norris was indeed the best of the rest in qualifying, finishing fourth behind the front Ferrari and Red Bull cars, with Ricciardo following in seventh, before the pair finished P5 and P6 on race day.

Ricciardo had expected for a stronger finish after initially trailing Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, but he was content with his first points of the season and the team’s first double score.

“Obviously [it was a] much better weekend – positives, for sure,” Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com.

“I thought at the start of the race it looked like we could hold the pace of Mercedes, but then they started to pull away a bit and they just had more pace than us.

“We were a little bit lonely at the end of the race, but in any case, for the team, this weekend has been a big step forward.

“[It’s] our first points of the year and a good weekend for both of us.”

Ricciardo is grateful for the home crowd’s support.

Ricciardo was especially thrilled to strengthen his pace in front of his home audience.

“If I look at the first two weekends, this has been definitely a bit of a breakthrough, so I’m very happy to do it here in Melbourne at my home race,” he commented.

“This was a much, much better one than the last two.”

“It’s crazy!” he stated of the reaction he got from the crowd at the chequered flag. “I finished sixth today, and everyone was shouting as if I had won, so winning here would be incredible – I’ll keep trying!”

“But everyone’s been amazing. I think they all had a really good weekend.

“It’s kind of what I said [going] into the start of the week, [that] whatever position we come home in, hopefully everyone enjoys themselves. I think the position, in the end, was okay, and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

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Daniel Ricciardo, F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Lando Norris, McLaren

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