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Ricciardo optimistic after securing best Formula One finish 14 Apr 2013

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates seventh place in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 12 April 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 12 April 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 12 April 2013

Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo is leaving Shanghai a very happy man after wrapping up a successful weekend in China on Sunday. Following an impressive qualifying performance, which saw him take seventh on the grid, Ricciardo drove an excellent race to retain his grid placing and finish in seventh - his best Formula One result to date.

“I am really pleased to score my first points of the season and to confirm the qualifying performance,” he said. “After yesterday afternoon I kept calm, knowing the real work would begin today. The last time I qualified this well was sixth in Bahrain last year and then I failed to score, so today, I really wanted to show people what I could do, so it’s great for me to have had a great race but it’s especially good for the team, who have worked so hard for this."

The Australian believes he could have finished even higher were it not for an early pit stop for a new nose after he was involved in a collision with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

“Of course, the early pit stop to change the nose affected our plans and towards the end, Massa’s Ferrari was looking bigger and bigger ahead of me! So yes, maybe I could have done even better, but for now I’ll settle for this seventh place.”

The 23 year-old is confident his pace in China reflects not only the hard work being carried out back at the factory but also the changes the team have made to their technical line-up recently, including the signing of technical director James Key from midfield rivals Sauber.

“From the start of the season, we have had many changes in terms of personnel and it takes a while for that to gel and this weekend, it felt like everything clicked into place, after the first two race weekends were a bit up and down, but now I expect us to continue getting stronger from here on.”

Ricciardo’s seventh-place finish moves his team into seventh in the constructors’ table, just seven points adrift of sixth-placed Force India, and also moves him up to 11th in the drivers’ standings. He’ll be back in action in Bahrain next weekend.

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