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‘Not where I expected to be’ admits Ricciardo as he rues difficult opening three races with RB

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Ricciardo Australia.jpg

Daniel Ricciardo didn’t manage to score points on home soil in Melbourne, on a day where his team mate finished seventh and got the team’s account up and running in the constructors’.

Having now been out-qualified by Yuki Tsunoda in the first three races, the Australian was in a reflective mood after coming home in 12th place.

Ricciardo’s woes in Australia stretched back to qualifying when he lost his lap time in Q1 for a clear track limits infringement, which dropped him to P18 on the grid. Although there were three retirements in the race and two Virtual Safety Car periods, Ricciardo ran out of time to climb into the points.

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“I feel like the frustration [from qualifying], I put aside for [the Grand Prix], I let that go last night and I didn’t end up breaking anything – I felt like some objects were going to get smashed following qualifying but maybe there’s a bit of calm with age,” he joked after the race.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB talks to the

Ricciardo's qualifying is leaving him too much to do on race days at the moment

“Anyway, I kind of knew what’s done is done and try to make the most of today and even, obviously it was nice that there were moments in the race I did have pace and I was able to show, okay, I can still get some good stints in there.”

Ricciardo’s struggles have surprised many, himself included, after he showed no signs of any issues in pre-season testing – with Ricciardo adding that the RB machine of 2024 is not so different from its AlphaTauri predecessor.

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“The characteristics and everything are very similar so I think there’s some confidence in that. It’s not like we’ve suddenly changed everything and this car suits Yuki [Tsunoda] and doesn’t suit me. I certainly don’t feel it is anything like that, I think we will find something.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Visa Cash App RB

The Aussie is yet to qualify or finish in the top 10 this season

“I thought it would be this weekend but maybe it’s the next and if not the next it will be the next, and we’ll keep going until it happens. And it will happen.

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“Obviously the weekend, I would have loved to have gone better but we’ve just got to keep our eyes on the prize. It hasn’t been the best three races to start the season for sure – kind of the preparation I had coming into the season, it’s certainly not where I expected to be, but it’s not something we’re going to get, like, rattled by or anything. We’ve just got to stay on course and I’m sure we’ll find it.”

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Ricciardo insists he’s ‘not rattled’ by troubled start to the season

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