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Ricciardo "familiar feeling" returns after finishing P2 in Styrian GP practice

Ricciardo "familiar feeling" returns after finishing P2 in Styrian GP practice

F1 News

Ricciardo "familiar feeling" returns after finishing P2 in Styrian GP practice

Ricciardo "familiar feeling" returns after finishing P2 in Styrian GP practice

Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed the return of a "familiar feeling" in F1 after the McLaren driver set the second-fastest time in practice for the Styrian Grand Prix.

After a difficult initiation period after his winter switch from Renault, now Alpine, things have started to click into place with Ricciardo and McLaren in recent weeks.

The Australian finished sixth in the French Grand Prix last weekend and made an immediate impact at the Red Bull Ring to end Friday second-fastest behind Max Verstappen.

“It’s been a few," joked Ricciardo. "I think actually last year we strung together a lot of good Fridays. I think there was a string when we were second or third so it’s nice. A little bit of a familiar feeling to a year ago.

“It was a pretty good afternoon. It was weird actually because we expected a lot of rain. I saw the radar and it was as if the rain was just missing the circuit.

“I feel like probably the town down the end of the road is flooded at the moment and we’re dry.

“It was a good day. Obviously, low fuel pace was good this afternoon. I think we definitely picked something up from the morning. The high fuel I would say there is probably a bit more to find relative to low fuel but definitely a productive afternoon.”

Single lap pace has rarely been a strong point for McLaren this year and reflecting on this, Ricciardo added: "I know it’s only Friday but for sure I’d rather be in the top three than 10th and saying we’ve got a lot of work to do tonight.

"I think we’ll do a bit of finetuning but we’re certainly not lost. We’re far from lost actually. I think we’re in a good place.”

Norris struggles with track limits

Lando Norris has been one of the standout performers of the 2021 season but was unable to match his team-mate on Friday, finishing seventh and a quarter of a second down on Ricciardo.

The gap could have been reduced somewhat had it not been for Norris' six deleted laps, all chalked off for track limits violations.

“A lot of my laps were deleted, probably most of them in fact," said Norris. "As long as I’m a good boy on Sunday - and tomorrow, to be honest - then it’s all fine. I’m just exploring the limits, finding the limits and I’ll be fine.”

He added: “It’s probably the most laps I’ve done in terms of race preparation as well so it’s not like we’re just focussed on qualifying but there are just certain things - making sure we’re understanding the tyres and we’re just on top of a few things which we maybe weren’t as on top of as we should have been in France.

“Just little things but it is very close. It’s going to be a tough day tomorrow but we will do our best.”

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