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Ricciardo Hits the Target in Qualifying


The Aussie will start P7, ready for Sunday fight.

Daniel Ricciardo is quite pleased to be starting the Formula 1® Heineken® Australian Grand Prix 2022 from seventh on the grid but is not getting too far ahead of himself.

The West Australian driver, who targeted a top-10 starting position before the race weekend started, will line up seventh on the grid in his McLaren-Mercedes, and said after the three-session qualifying procedure that he was “generally satisfied”.

The fourth-row start is a big gain for Ricciardo, who started 18th in the opening race of the 2022 season in Bahrain and 14th two weeks ago in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s the first Q3 of the year,” he said.

“The whole weekend’s been really good. I went a second slower with fresher tyres so that’s hurting a little.”

The Albert Park weekend has seen a turnaround in form for the McLaren team, with Ricciardo's teammate Lando Norris qualifying a fine fourth, ahead of perennial Melbourne polesitter Lewis Hamilton.

With George Russell in sixth place, fighting with the silver Mercedes-Benzes looks to be a realistic objective for the Australian.

“Getting into Q3, that was the objective for the weekend, that got everyone excited. We’re not aiming extremely high, but that was an achievement for us.

“We haven’t really done a proper long run. There’s a couple of quicker ones, Mercedes are not their usual selves so I think we could put up a fight with them.”

Tomorrow’s race is scheduled to start at 3pm.