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Daniel Ricciardo targets top 10 grid for Albert Park


Aussie McLaren ace looking for gains in Melbourne.

Daniel Ricciardo is keeping his aim high but his expectations realistic as he prepares for Qualifying for the Formula 1® Heineken® Australian Grand Prix 2022.

The McLaren-Mercedes driver said on Friday that making the third Qualifying session, as one of the top 10 drivers, was his hope for this weekend’s race.

Ricciardo qualified in 18th position for the season opener in Bahrain and 12th for the second race of the year in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“Let’s try qualify in Q3,” he said on Friday. “That would be our first of the year, so that’s a target.

“I always have a good level of inner confidence, but in Bahrain, we were obviously not competitive. A week after we went to Saudi and we showed more competitiveness – that was really just a track dependent thing. Hopefully this circuit, I think it does lean more to a Saudi layout than a Bahrain one and I think that will help us a bit with where we currently are.”

Ricciardo made his first appearance at Albert Park 10 years ago and says that he is blown away by the enthusiastic fans around the track this year.

“For a Thursday, and I’m talking around the world, it was the busiest Thursday I’ve experienced walking into a paddock. That certainly stood out and it’s awesome.

“You said crazy, It’s definitely a good crazy. There’s a lot of support and love and it’s not just for me, it’s for F1 and I think everyone is just stoked to have the race back here.”

At the same time Ricciardo’s teammate, Englishman Lando Norris, said he was pleased to see so much support for the McLaren team and its traditional orange colours.

“There’s a lot of papaya fans, I guess a lot of them are for Daniel for some reason!”

Friday’s official Practice sessions start at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, respectively. The three-stage Qualifying session is due to start at 4:00 pm on Saturday.