Ricciardo still ‘in awe’ of Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he is still in awe driving around the Monaco street circuit despite being a Formula 1 race winner at the venue.

The sinuous streets of the Principality this weekend play host to Round 5 of the 2021 season, the event returning to the calendar after missing last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s a venue that has been a happy hunting ground for Ricciardo, who won the race in 2018 and has also enjoyed success in junior formulae.

“It’s fun – I love street circuits, you know, and from day one driving here, you’re kind of just in awe of the place,” the Australian said.

“It’s so tight, but it also flows, you know; it’s quite a beautiful circuit.

“At some moments you kind of get up over the curb onto a footpath in Turn 7 [Portier], I think it is. It’s unique.

“Make a mistake you pay a price,” he added

“If you’re willing to take it to the edge then it can pay off and you win the biggest prize of all. That balance has always fascinated me.”

Ricciardo ended both of Thursday’s practice sessions with just the 15th fastest time, rounding out the day with a best of 1:13.257s, more than 1.5s off the pace set by Charles Leclerc.

It left him to concede that it “wasn’t a great day”.

While victory this year is an unlikely proposition, the 31-year-old is hopeful that he’ll enjoy future success in the Principality.

“It’s always a place I’ve loved and gone well at it, even pre-F1, but we’ll see what happens this weekend.

“I am very, very happy to be back I missed it for – how good’s my maths – 730 days, something like that.”

Free Practice 3 for the Monaco Grand Prix gets underway at 20:00 AEST this evening.

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