Silver lining to Aussie GP postponement for Daniel Ricciardo

While the Australian motorsport community has accepted the move for the Australian Grand Prix to move to the end of the 2021 Formula One season, it could be the best thing possible for Aussie Daniel Ricciardo.

The move has seen the Aussie GP go to November 21, the third last race of the season rather than the season opening race.

Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

The season will start a week later on March 28 as the FIA confirmed the season would now start in Bahrain.

While it might not be great news for Australian fans who enjoy kicking off the season, it might see Ricciardo put in one of his best performances in the race.

His last time to Melbourne was Ricciardo’s first race for Renault in 2019 and his race was all but over five seconds into the race when he was squeezed wide and hit a bump which ripped off his front wing.

He eventually retired on lap 32 with a mechanical problem.

With Red Bull and Toro Rosso, he was close with no cigar, twice finishing fourth, once disqualified (after finishing second), twice more DNF, a sixth and a ninth.

Not the dream start he wanted with Renault.Source:AAP

But Ricciardo believes getting to race in Australia later in the season will allow him to get some momentum for the race.

“It’s a real shame that the Australian Grand Prix has been disrupted again, but at least we’ve got another date this year, and of course I totally understand and agree with the reasons behind it being postponed,” Ricciardo said.

“The safety of the fans, and everyone involved with the sport is the most important thing.

“But I am glad we’ve got another date later in the year and I think that’s cool.

“It’ll be approaching the Australian summer and I’ll have nearly a whole season under my belt with McLaren, so I think we’ll go there with some pretty good momentum and perhaps a bit more experience with the team.

“To be honest, I’m just excited about racing on home soil again.”

The 31-year-old is making the move to McLaren, the team who finished third in the constructors championship and have just received a big influx of cash.

But while Riccardo will be the newbie at the team, the Aussie is looking to get straight into his work with McLaren.

The team has set up an intensive preparation program for Riccardo at its Woking factory as well as giving the Aussie some extra work to take away with him.

“Having a new driver on board is always a very interesting challenge. And the approach is that it has to start from qualifying (at the first race). Where do we want to be on that Saturday?” McLaren racing director Andrea Stella said.

“Then, you work your way back in terms of what you need to do to make sure that you are as prepared as possible. And it’s a combination of competence and being methodical. Because I’m sure everyone, such as the engineers, will be eager to share with the driver tons and tons of information and solutions. But actually, you need to do the right things because there won’t be a lot of time to test on track.

“The objective is to be at the first race, in qualifying, and it be like Daniel has driven the McLaren and has worked with these engineers, and the team, for a long time.”

If Ricciardo can avoid the Renault teething problems, McLaren could be a force.Source:Getty Images

The program will involve plenty of conversations to build the relationship, technical and racing discussions, simulator work and even listening to radio work to decide how best to communicate in the car.

If McLaren can hit the ground running with Ricciardo, by the time they get to Melbourne they should be a well-oiled machine.

Source: Read Full Article