Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo feels like he is “due” to have a strong Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020 after suffering disappointment last year.
In a bid to overtake Sergio Perez on Lap 1 of the 2019 event, Ricciardo ran onto the grass where a concrete path dismantled his front wing at high speed.
Ricciardo battled on but retired on the 31st lap, continuing his wait for an official top-three finish at his home Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old finished fourth at Albert Park in both 2016 and 2018 when driving for Red Bull, while he crossed the line second in 2014 but was later excluded from the race after his car was found to have consistently breached the fuel flow limit.
Speaking at a press conference where he was flanked by fellow drivers Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Nicholas Latifi on Thursday, Ricciardo said: “I hope this one is good.
“I feel like one year is pretty good, one year is not. I think I’m due a good one.
“I’ve been preparing, been preparing well … it’s good to be here.”
Ricciardo said he was particularly encouraged by the final day of Formula 1®’s pre-season testing program in Barcelona last month.
“I think the test ended well for us,” he said.
“Day three of week two was a lot more promising and both my feedback and Esteban’s [teammate Esteban Ocon] – you could see our expression when we got out of the car.
“It was certainly more optimistic so that was encouraging.
“I just look back - even last year, the build-up and everything - I was watching some onboards before and I can just see from the outside and I’m [thinking] like, ‘Yeah, I’m a lot more comfortable in this car now’.
“So I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do.”
The Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020 runs in Melbourne until Sunday. Book online and save up to $10* on AusGP Park Pass tickets before prices increase at the gate.