Ricciardo pleased Australian GP will go ahead regardless of date

21-01-2021 18:43 | Updated: 21-01-2021 21:43
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Ricciardo pleased Australian GP will go ahead regardless of date

Bad news came for Daniel Ricciardo when it was announced that the Australian Grand Prix, Ricciardo's home race, will not be the spectacular kick-off to the season in 2021. However, the Australian is not all doom and gloom and sees a bright spot in being made to drive his home race towards the end of the season. 

"There's something cool about my home race being the first race," Ricciardo began, speaking to The Age. "But later in the year, there's some benefits – instead of me not knowing or speculating how I'll go or how the season will go, we'll know how I'm going, how McLaren is going, and we'll know how competitive we are.”

Not only is Ricciardo a newcomer to the team in 2021, but the team is also facing a change of engine supplier. Given such changes often cause start-up problems, Ricciardo is doubly relieved not to have to debut for McLaren in front of his home crowd. He explained: "This year, we have the Mercedes engine to get used to, I'm getting settled into a new team with hardly any testing … we weren't going to be anywhere near our best in Melbourne if it was in March, so personally I'm more confident we’ll be stronger in November.”

Not again like 2020

Ricciardo remembers all too well the drama in Australia last year, when the entire grid had already flown in and the cancellation seemed like a bolt from the blue. With this event in mind, the Australian racer admitted he definitely doesn't want to go through that again. "I'd hate to have come back to Melbourne in March like we did last year, everything is right about to start, and then we get called off again. It was such a massive shame for everyone once; twice would have been the worst. Shifting it to November gives us a chance to have a proper event, and that's what we're hoping for."

Ricciardo added that, at the end of the day, hosting the Australian Grand Prix is the main thing, regardless of which weekendit take place. "The most important thing for the fans and for me personally is that we have a race, but if it moved to later in the year permanently, I wouldn't be against it." 

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