Daniel Ricciardo believes that Barcelona’s familiarity and high levels of grip are factors that will allow him to “really push” and improve his performance level from the opening three races of 2021.

Ricciardo has endured a low-profile start to his tenure at McLaren, and struggled to get on top of his new Mercedes-powered mount.

Although the Aussie has finished each race in the points, he’s been comfortably outpaced on race day by teammate Lando Norris. And last weekend in Portugal, Ricciardo even failed to exit Q3.

But a spirited drive on Sunday went a long way towards boosting his morale, and the seven-time Grand Prix is now looking to put together a strong weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back on track in Spain,” he said. “Having been to two unique circuits in Imola and Portimão, it’ll be good to get some laps in on a circuit I know really well.

“All the teams do so much testing at Barcelona, so we pretty much know what to expect right out of the box.

“Having so much familiarity with the circuit and the high levels of grip should mean I can really push the car and not have too many other factors to worry about.

“I’m feeling more and more comfortable with every race distance, so I’m really excited to see what we can do in the next few races.”

    Read also: Top-ten finish helped ‘relieve’ qualifying frustrations – Ricciardo

At Portimão, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl said Ricciardo was still working on his “integration” with his new team, and vice versa. The German believes it’s only a matter of time until the Aussie comems into his own.

“He’s the one who is probably disappointed the most because he knows he has it in him,” said Seidl. “And he’s disappointed that he can’t extract the performance of our car yet.

“But at the same time, he’s very experienced. I think we are also very experienced on the team side it’s simply important to stay calm, work through this integration or adoption process together as a team.

“I think he feels very comfortable and happy in the team. I think he’s also very happy with how we together deal with this current challenge, together.

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“And again, I’m 100 per cent sure it is just a matter of more time and then we will see Daniel back to the performance which we all know.”

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