2021 Australian GP: Daniel Ricciardo’s Verdict on New Albert Park F1 Track Layout

Published 04/01/2021, 7:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The iconic Albert Park Circuit in Australia is set to undergo a major overhaul. The usual venue for an F1 season opener is being modified ahead of the postponed Australian Grand Prix. The tweaks to the circuit aim to not only make it quicker but also give F1 cars more opportunities to overtake. Being the only Australian driver on the grid, Daniel Ricciardo gave his verdict on the modifications of the track.

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The man from down under believes that the racing in Melbourne could be a real spectacle, especially once the new aerodynamic regulations kick in for the 2022 campaign.

“These changes in the direction of what we want. Better races, more battles – the changes are going to push us towards that,” he began.

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Formula One F1. Bahrain Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“With these [2021] cars the changes should help a lot, but from 2022, if next year promises everything it does with being able to follow the car in front and the racing to be enhanced, then coming to a circuit like Albert Park with these changes should make a pretty amazing spectacle.

“I see all of these changes as beneficial for Sunday and we can have some fun on the brakes. It’ll make the racing closer, I’m pretty confident of that.”

While no doubt Ricciardo would want to hit the circuit in Melbourne as soon as possible, he has bigger fish to fry at the moment.

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The McLaren driver had a solid outing on debut with the Woking-based outfit. He crossed the checkered flag in P7, but he was quite comprehensively beaten by his teammate Lando Norris, who finished in P4.

Formula One F1. Bahrain Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during qualifying REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

In some ways it was expected, considering Ricciardo barely had enough time to get used to a new car and a new team. However, he did say that he felt far more comfortable in the papaya-colored car in his first race for the team than he had felt with his Renault debut.

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With the next race in over two weeks’ time, Daniel will want to showcase some improvement and make a statement of intent. Will he beat Norris the second time of asking? Or will Daniel still take another race or two to get to grips with the MCL35M?

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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