‘I think it was a bit of a photo finish’ – Daniel Ricciardo says he’s happy with McLaren’s strong performance in home race in Australia

Local favorite Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth just behind McLaren teammate Lando Norris at the 2022 Australian GP.

Ricciardo and McLaren haven’t had the best of starts in 2022. Firstly, Ricciardo missed part of pre-season testing after testing positive for Covid. He was cleared to compete just in time for the season opener in Bahrain.

At Sakhir, the McLaren cars lacked performance and they struggled in the bottom half of the grid. The Australian finished 14th ahead of Norris in 15th.

They seemed to be a bit better off at the Saudi Arabian GP, ​​but power unit issues for Ricciardo forced him to retire from the race. His British teammate, meanwhile, secured a seventh place finish.

Going into Ricciardo’s home race in Australia, McLaren fans weren’t optimistic about their chances. The Surrey-based team, however, proved them wrong.

After a solid P4 and P7 in qualifying for Norris and Ricciardo respectively, they maintained their good form in Sunday’s race.

Read also : Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz reflects on horror outing at 2022 Australian GP

Australia is by far the best race of the season for McLaren, according to Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren will be hoping their promising outing in Melbourne will be just the start of their ascent for the next 20 races. Ricciardo, for his part, is optimistic about his ability to continue progressing.

After returning to Australia for the first time since 2019, the Perth native revealed he was happy with the way he, Norris and the whole team fared over the weekend.

“I’m quite satisfied, I would say,” he said. “This is by far our best result of the season, personally and as a team. First part of the race, I thought we were there with Mercedes and had their DRS. But as the race progressed, that was probably our pace.

“I think it was a bit of a photo-finish,” Ricciardo continued. “I was told Lando was in trouble so the team said to be reasonable so I had to control myself a bit but of course a 5th and a 6th is a fantastic result.”

“If you had said that in Bahrain, I would have laughed sarcastically,” added the former Red Bull driver.

McLaren and the other nine F1 teams travel to Imola in two weeks for the 2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Read also : Lewis Hamilton had to give up fighting for P3 in the Australian GP

Jack C. Nugent