Ricciardo relishing buzz of Spanish GP as F1 hits Europe

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Daniel Ricciardo is relishing the start of the European season in Formula 1 at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as he goes in search of his first top five finish of 2015.

Ricciardo has endured a difficult start to the new season thanks to a number of problems with the Red Bull RB11 car. The Australian currently ranks seventh in the drivers’ standings with a best finish of sixth in Australia and Bahrain.

The Spanish Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, one of F1’s more traditional venues, and Ricciardo is relishing the atmosphere of the race.

“We have a great atmosphere for the race,” Ricciardo said. “The circuit cuts into the hillside so there’s lots of good viewing areas and, so long as [Fernando] Alonso’s on track, it’s pretty crazy.

“That’s great for all of us, not just Fernando. It’s going to be good with three Spanish drivers in this year’s race. There’ll be a real buzz.”

Ahead of the race, Ricciardo explained how he thinks the controversial drag reduction system (DRS) that is fitted to each car works well at the Spanish circuit, making for some close racing.

“I think it’s one where DRS is a big plus point,” the Australian said. “In the past, because everyone knew the track and their setup so well, races tended to be a bit stale.

“I think the DRS means that you don’t get dull races any more. You can still defend though – it’s a good track for that – but in a way that’s going to make the race exciting for spectators.

“It’s fun to drive. The first two sectors have a really good flow to them, which is pretty cool. The last sector is a bit more about tyre management on the modern layout but the rest is exhilarating.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN on May 10.