Daniel Ricciardo is heading into the Italian GP for his best start on the grid this season with McLaren.
The Aussie driver hasn’t had the smoothest of seasons settling into the Woking-based team, but this weekend his performance was enough for a P2 start tomorrow.
Ricciardo finished the Sprint in third, but after Valtteri Bottas – in first – was dealt an engine penalty, the McLaren duo were lifted in P2 and P3 for today’s battle.
Speaking at the driver’s conference following the 100km Sprint, Ricciardo said; “It’s been a long time to be in this position. It’s good to be back. Tomorrow is the important one but we gain a position from Valtteri’s problems so we are on the front row, and that’s been a long time, so very happy about that.
“First time obviously up here in the Sprint as well. For sure I’m happy. Yeah, we’ve got the big one tomorrow. I think I’ve done the job today, ticked the box to get me in a better starting spot, front row. Maybe Mexico was the last time Max and I were on the front row?
“You’re nodding your head, so I remember. Yeah, looking forward to that and hopefully, we have a strong pace like we did today. It’s not enough, it wasn’t enough for Max and Valtteri today but I felt like I was able to hold on to third pretty comfortably, so we’ll try to learn a bit from today and use that for tomorrow to keep us up in this room.”
Regarding his plan of action, the 32-year-old says; “Full attack. Full attack.
“I mean today that’s what gave me the chance. A good start… I thought maybe I would get Max in Turn 1 but he had the inside, so I look forward to tomorrow.”