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Ricciardo finally "hooked up" at Sochi after lengthy "homework" assignment

Ricciardo finally "hooked up" at Sochi after lengthy "homework" assignment

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Ricciardo finally "hooked up" at Sochi after lengthy "homework" assignment

Ricciardo finally "hooked up" at Sochi after lengthy "homework" assignment

Daniel Ricciardo believes "quite a bit of homework" has put him in good stead for arguably his best Russian Grand Prix weekend.

Ricciardo's record at the Sochi Autodrom over the past six years has been relatively poor as his best qualifying performance has been fifth, while he has never finished higher than sixth.

But the Renault driver finished third quickest behind Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, which has left his rivals at McLaren and Racing Point concerned given the battle between the three teams for third in the constructors' championship.

The Australian feels his performance was due to the work he put in after his display last season when he could only qualify 10th, which led to a mid-pack first-lap crash and retirement with collision damage later in the race.

"Probably the first time I've ever been hooked up around here," said Ricciardo. "It felt good, the first run I was on it and I stayed on it for the rest of the day, so I'm really happy with another good Friday.

"The car was good out of the box. We didn't make too many changes. I did quite a bit of homework from last year.

"I was a bit off the pace, trying to understand what we could do, and with myself, and then changing the car a little bit more to suit what I felt I missed last year, I think we are in a good place."

Ricciardo, though, believes it is too early to suggest his form so far will lead to a long-overdue podium, particularly with nine drivers behind him within seven-tenths of a second.

"It's early days. If I can put it there in quali then for sure I'll be confident of that," added Ricciardo on his podium chances.

"I think you know there are a lot of cars within two to three-tenths of us, so I'm sure that will be the battle tomorrow. I think it's all going to close up. If we can stay that tenth ahead then we will look all right."

Before you go...

Sainz apologies to McLaren for causing "unnecessary stress"

Hamilton believes F1 rivals will feel wounded by gap to Mercedes

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