Ricciardo takes confidence from Red Bull’s F1 2016 preparations

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Daniel Ricciardo will head to next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix full of confidence after Red Bull made good preparations for the new Formula 1 season.

Ricciardo endured a difficult second year with Red Bull in 2015 as issues with the Renault power unit prevented him from adding to his trio of grand prix victories.

The noises coming out of Red Bull have been far more positive heading into the 2016 season though, and Ricciardo believes that the team is better prepared than it was before last year’s race in Australia.

“Testing’s been a lot better for us this year. You still don’t really know where you are until you get to Melbourne, but we’re better prepared than we were this time last year so we can use that as some confidence,” Ricciardo said.

“Me personally, I’m ready to go – I was ready in January and I’m still ready now! Just keen for those lights to go out and to get racing! I think everyone’s excited to get going, but even if the race was elsewhere I think there’s no-one more excited than me to go racing, period!”

Ricciardo is relishing his fifth Australian Grand Prix weekend, having first raced in front at Albert Park back in 2012 with Toro Rosso, and will once again be the only home driver on the grid in 2016.

“The fact that it’s in Oz and I’m going to have more supporters than anyone else, hell yeah I’m excited!” Ricciardo said. “In fact, I’m going to have to control my adrenaline because there’s a long build up over the weekend.

“Sunday’s cool, it’s probably the quietest day of the week for us in terms of other obligations so it’s really time to just focus on the race.

“When I’m on the grid on Sunday, it’ll just be full focus, full determination, knowing that I’ve got a battle on my hands the next hour and a half, a battle I’ll look forward to!”

The Australian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN on March 20.