Ricciardo heaps praise on F1 rival

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Daniel Ricciardo has praised compatriot Oscar Piastri, describing the 22-year-old as a “great kid”.

Piastri scored a fourth-place result at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend, matching the best result achieved at Albert Park by fellow Australians Ricciardo and Mark Webber.

Piastri is enjoying his second season in F1 having joined McLaren last year, replacing Ricciardo who struggled for form at the Woking-based squad.

When asked if he was pleased to see Piastri’s performance in Melbourne, Ricciardo replied: “Yeah it seems to be an Aussie favourite! No, I’m happy.”

The eight-time Grand Prix winner, who took part in his first home race since 2022, added he was not worn down at the end of the event, which was often the case in the past.

“Speaking of the week, it was a really good week,” he said.

“I think it was my first year with Renault in particular, I felt like by the Sunday I was just drained and we tried to do too much.

“I felt like I just wore myself down. I certainly didn’t feel like that this week, I felt like, even 2022 when we came back after Covid, I had a really good time here. It was the same this week.

Weekend result not due to distractions

Ricciardo endured a difficult round in Melbourne as he was eliminated in Q1 and couldn’t rise to the points during the race.

Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda enjoyed a strong showing and bagged RB’s first points of the year as Ricciardo denied that being distracted was behind his lacklustre performance.

“I don’t put any of my maybe not awesome weekend results down to distractions or too much media appearances or whatever.

“I think everyone was great and respectful of the job that we have to do. The crowd was cool.

“I couldn’t get points, but Oscar did a great top four. He’s a good kid. The more time I spend with him, I like him a lot, and happy that he’s doing well for Australia.”

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