Daniel Ricciardo expecting strong pace in Monaco

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Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo has spoken of his special affinity for the Monaco Grand Prix, and the Australian driver expects the team to run well at the race after a good showing last time out in Barcelona.

Ricciardo ran well at the Spanish Grand Prix to finish P10, and he is sure that this result will translate into a good result this weekend in Monaco.

“The one thing that should guide us is that Barcelona is a very high downforce circuit and this is even higher downforce – if you have it,” Ricciardo explained in his blog. “So, because we were quicker in Barcelona than the team has been for the last few years, that probably points to us having a positive race here. Certainly we should be stronger than we were last year.”

Last year, Ricciardo retired from the race with 13 laps remaining, but he is confident that a similar disappointment will be avoided on Sunday during his second outing in an F1 car around the streets of Monte-Carlo.

“This is my sort of track. It’s got a real old-school vibe and like all street circuits, it’s a lot of fun. Last year I was really buzzing to race here. It didn’t go how I imagined, I really wanted to be quicker than I was, so this year I’m not going to talk it up too much – but I am confident we’ll be competitive and I’ll show some proper speed around the Circuit de Monaco.”

With the second seat at Red Bull up for grabs in 2014, Ricciardo will be hoping to take advantage of Monaco’s high rate of attrition in order to finish well within the points. The ode of Monaco is that good qualifying usually leads to a good race result, and the Australian driver will be keen on harnessing the one-lap pace of the STR08 during tomorrow’s shootout.

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.