As he prepares for his final race with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, Daniel Ricciardo has said that he is aiming for a first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium to celebrate.
After five years with the team – and ten in the Red Bull programme – Ricciardo is to move to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team for 2019 on a two-year deal. The Australian replaces his fellow Red Bull-affiliated driver Carlos Sainz Jr, as the Spaniard moves to the McLaren F1 Team.
Ricciardo, who has recorded more retirements than any other driver in the 2018 Formula 1 season with eight, could not manage to get onto the podium in Brazil almost two weeks’ ago, however hopes to break his wait for a top three finish at the Yas Marina Circuit – a venue that he enjoys.
“Abu Dhabi has always been a pretty good track for me and I enjoy going there,” said Ricciardo.
“I’m yet to get an Abu Dhabi podium, but that would be a pretty awesome way to end my stint with Red Bull and to end the season. Having a twilight race is always cool, the weather is good, so there’s not much not to like about the place.
“I love the third sector, it’s my favourite part of the track for sure, through the hotel and all that is good fun.”
When reflecting on his time with Red Bull, that has seen seven victories, Ricciardo admitted that the race finish will be an “emotional” occasion for him but says that he will not let emotions affect his performance.
“Abu Dhabi marks the end of five years with the team and ten years with Red Bull itself,” he added.
“I’m sure it’s going to be emotional afterwards, especially when I cross the line for the last time with the team. But I’m going there guns a blazing, showing a lot of love.
“Hopefully the love shows me back and I can spray some fake champagne on Sunday, which would be a fitting farewell.”