Ricciardo still positive about a podium finish

After all his woes, Daniel Ricciardo reckons his Australian Grand Prix is now full of promise.

Ricciardo will start from seventh in the season-opening race today at Albert Park in Melbourne, with Mercedes’ reigning champion Lewis Hamilton in pole position.

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Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg is second on the grid amid expectations the Mercedes duo will dominate the race – they were both more than a second faster than rivals during qualifying.

But Ricciardo believes a fast start could gift him an opportunity to make an impact on the pacesetters.

“It’s going to be hard to stay with them but obviously if we can get a few off the start, you know how it goes,” Ricciardo said yesterday.

“We will try and hang in there.”

Ricciardo’s practice sessions were pockmarked by problems – he missed one session entirely as mechanics installed a new power unit in his Red Bull Racing car.

During Saturday’s practice the car stopped altogether and had to be pushed back to the pits.

But the Perth-born driver produced a sterling last lap in qualifying to secure seventh spot on the starting grid.

“The qualy was the first time I got to use the soft tyres this weekend and we chipped away at it, that is what I was most pleased about, the progress we made during the session is promising,” Ricciardo said.

“It was fun to feel the car for once and get to push it properly.

“Seventh is good. You look at the three teams in front of us and they have been up there all weekend and even through testing.

“So seventh is where we are now so I’m happy that we at least achieved that.”

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