After losing a potential second place finish at the Mexican Grand Prix by way of more 2018 reliability woes, Daniel Ricciardo is looking to end his spell with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing on a high, starting with this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo has two races left with the Milton Keynes-based team before his transfer to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team formally takes place, and says that he is “looking forward” to his eighth Formula 1 race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. The Australian has failed to register a higher finish that sixth – achieved last year – at Interlagos so far.
“The atmosphere in Brazil is cool and I had a good race coming through the field there last year,” said Ricciardo.
“It’s a track that isn’t always that easy to pass on, but last year proved that it can be done and I’m looking forward to going back. The lap is quite short and lacks high speed corners but it’s definitely grown on me over the years.
“The weather can also play a big part in this race, so let’s hope the on-track action can live up to the off-track atmosphere. The Drivers’ Parade there is cool with the noise from all the local fans and the air horns, it has a kind of carnival feel which gives you a boost of energy before you get in the car.
“We always have a big team dinner there which creates a great atmosphere for everyone.”
Despite scoring two victories in 2018, at the Chinese and Monaco Grands Prix, technical issues have plagued the 29-year-old’s championship challenge. Eight retirements – including two in the past two races when sitting in the top three – brought an emotional Ricciardo’s commitment towards the final two races of the year into doubt; but he insists that he will “be pushing as hard as ever” to rectify the situation.
“It goes without saying that I’m looking for a strong finish to round off the season with the team and I will be pushing as hard as ever to achieve this.”
Ricciardo can no longer move out of sixth position in the Drivers’ Championship, sitting 77 points ahead of future team-mate Nico Hülkenberg and 70 points behind current team-mate Max Verstappen, with a maximum of 50 points available.