After each McLarens completed within the prime six, Daniel Ricciardo admitted he was pleased to keep away from a “painful” weekend in Melbourne.
Having been properly off the tempo in Bahrain, Ricciardo retired in Jeddah and team-mate Lando Norris labored with McLaren’s improved tempo to take the staff’s first factors of the 12 months.
However the structure at Albert Park suited each drivers and their automobile properly, with the pair capitalising on Max Verstappen’s retirement to take P5 amd P6 respectively – with Ricciardo instructed to “be smart” behind Norris, hinting at staff orders between the 2 on the finish of the race.
An 18-point haul was an indication of progress from McLaren, and the Australian was pleased to see the staff’s fortunes enhance at his dwelling race.
“All weekend it’s simply been a step in the correct course,” mentioned Ricciardo, quoted by Formula1.com. “A couple of weeks in the past in Bahrain, many dwelling followers had been considering, ‘oh no, that is perhaps going to be a painful dwelling race for Daniel’, however it was very nice to have such a fast turnaround.
“The staff actually discovered a bit in the previous few weeks and that’s been very nice and inspiring, so steps, large steps in the correct course. We’ll hold at it, hold chipping away. As all the time, nonetheless issues to enhance.”
With the quantity of enchancment proven at McLaren, regardless of Norris’ protestations that their pace was extra circuit than car-related, Ricciardo was pleased for a “easy” weekend to get his season up and working in earnest.
Having lastly been capable of race at dwelling as properly, he left Melbourne glad.
“I’m pleased with the progress and, as a staff consequence, I feel we executed all the things we may,” Ricciardo mentioned. “I feel the primary a part of the race was optimistic, however there may be nonetheless a bit to work on. In all probability in that second stint I misplaced somewhat little bit of tempo on the onerous tyre.
“It got here again to me somewhat bit – however we nonetheless have a little bit of understanding to do. I’ll hold working at it however typically, as a complete, the weekend’s been easy.
“I’m pleased to stroll away with my first factors of the 12 months at dwelling, which can be good for the all of the followers who got here out right here, so I’m feeling fairly content material.
“We go away Melbourne in good spirits, which feels good because it’s most likely been 4 years since I left right here in good spirits.”