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Ricciardo concerned McLaren rivals "sandbagging"

Ricciardo concerned McLaren rivals "sandbagging"

F1 News

Ricciardo concerned McLaren rivals "sandbagging"

Ricciardo concerned McLaren rivals "sandbagging"

Daniel Ricciardo is hopeful McLaren's rivals are not "sandbagging" after both he and Lando Norris finished in the top 10 in practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Woking-based team has struggled in the first two races of the season with F1's regulation changes pushing the team down the order although points in Saudi Arabia provided a reason for optimism.

On the sport's return to Albert Park for the first time since 2019, Norris and Ricciardo both finished in the top 10, faster than both Mercedes and in amongst the pace of Alpine and Alfa Romeo.

"Hopefully there is not too much sandbagging going on with others," said Ricciardo.

"Just the feeling in the car was good.

"I think we found a good set in the afternoon. Especially the first part of the session on the medium, I was pretty happy there but I think with the softs, we didn't find as much as we can.

"So more to come from that tyre but otherwise, I felt like I was getting on the limit. I don't think I have a second in my pocket but of course, you will find a little more as the weekend goes on."

Ricciardo - New Melbourne layout "fun"

The Melbourne venue has undergone a major reprofiling since F1 last visited with numerous corners widened and the middle sector revamped to create a high-speed zone.

Asked if he enjoyed the changes at his home track, Ricciardo explained: "Yeah, I did. It was fun.

"I think some corners are very similar but probably turn six is my favourite. It is very fast and it is banked as well and you exit onto the kerb. I don't know, it is just a fun corner. I think all the drivers will enjoy that.

"Turn 11, it is much different, much more square and a bit more bumpy on the apex. It is a bit more challenging that corner but happy with the feeling in the track and hopefully, we can stay inside the top 10 and have a good weekend."

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