Daniel Ricciardo is "beyond excited" for the return of the Australian Grand Prix after two years without racing in Melbourne and has vowed to 'put on a show' for his home fans.
March 13, 2020, is a date F1 fans will remember as the day the sport realised it could not battle against the onrushing global pandemic.
After a member of McLaren team personnel tested for Covid, the team withdrew from the event and the race was subsequently cancelled.
Travel restrictions and quarantine requirements made it impossible to return to Melbourne last year and after two years away, Ricciardo said: “It’s good to be home!
"I am beyond excited to get back out on track in Melbourne. Nothing beats a home crowd, and the Australian fans are some of the best in the world.
"I’ve been back in Perth since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and I feel rested, prepared and excited to get stuck into one of my favourite weekends of the year.
"It will also be great to try out the new layout for myself, particularly the sweeping right-hander as it seems fast.
"Let’s get back out there, fight as hard as we can and hopefully put on a bit of a show!”
Ricciardo to build on Saudi Arabia "positives"
Ricciardo retired from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in the closing stages of the races after lapping in 11th and behind team-mate Lando Norris.
Although conceding his frustration at missing out on potential points, the Australian stressed he was encouraged by the progress being made by the team after a difficult start to the year.
“The end to my race in Jeddah was frustrating but it was encouraging to see how the team’s hard work is starting to pay off bit by bit," Ricciardo explained.
"There were a lot of positives to take out of the weekend and I’m a lot more comfortable in the car. We still have a long way to go, and we’re focused on the task at hand."