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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo ready to make McLaren's victory dream a reality

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo is dreaming of victory at the Italian Grand Prix, as he prepares to start from the front row of the grid at Monza.

Ricciardo Verstappen Monza
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To news overview © Honda

Daniel Ricciardo says he's ready to return to the sharp end of the Formula 1 field and achieve McLaren's first victory since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, having secured a front row start for the Italian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo made a lightning start to the Sprint Qualifying race at Monza on Saturday to vault past teammate Lando Norris and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, coming home in third place.

With winner Valtteri Bottas taking a grid penalty for Sunday's Grand Prix, after Mercedes fitted a new power unit to his car, Ricciardo moves up to second alongside pole-sitting Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

With a clear track in front of him on the run down to Turn 1, Ricciardo says he's hoping to be able to fight for the win.

"I'll probably dream a little bit about it, and I'm ready to make that a reality for sure," Ricciardo told the media, including RacingNews365.com, after the Sprint race.

"Also, for McLaren, it's been a long time, for me it’s been a long time, so it's definitely refreshing to be back up here. We're close.

"A few things might have to swing in our favour but we'll certainly put ourselves in the fight, in the hunt. I'm very excited to get going with that, and to try to make some good stuff happen.

"Obviously they [McLaren, with Carlos Sainz] were second here last year. We're there or thereabouts. I'm hungry. Anyone who saw me after qualifying, I think they're not surprised about this outcome today."

Having been lucky to make it through Turn 1 unscathed after being gently tapped by AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, Ricciardo joked that he was furious when he found out it had happened after the session.

"I didn't feel the Gasly touch," he said. "I was just told about it after, but no, I didn't. And then, yes, the rage!"

Verstappen, sitting alongside his former Red Bull teammate in the press conference, asked Ricciardo whether he had destroyed the whole room in his rage.

Ricciardo said he'd manage to keep his cool on this occasion: "This time I kept the room in one piece! Max knows. Sometimes I don't keep it that cool.

"I would say I used some of that [in the Sprint] and I will use the rest of it [in the Grand Prix]. That's all. As I said before, I'm hungry. It's been a long time since I've been up in this position, so I just want to be back here and never leave."

Also interesting:

Video: The secrets of the historic Monza circuit

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the home of Italian motorsport, the historic 'Temple of Speed' at Monza.

F1 2021 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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