Apex predator: Why Ricciardo will go nuts at new Albert Park
Daniel Ricciardo has thrown his support behind looming changes to the Albert Park circuit, predicting Australia's Formula One race will be "more exciting for everyone" thanks to the shake-up.
The Aussie F1 ace was consulted on changes to be made to the layout of the Melbourne street circuit and predicted fans would be treated to more of a spectacle, with overtaking and faster sections easier for drivers.
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"Better races, more battles … the changes are going to push us towards that," Ricciardo said.
With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of last year's race and this year's event shuffled back in the season, Aus GP bosses decided to breathe new life into the track.
The Herald Sun recently revealed seven of the Albert Park circuit's corners would be modified and two would be completely removed in a bid to speed up racing.
Turn six will be widened by 7.5m, increasing top speeds by an expected 70km/h speeds to 219km/h.
The chicane at turns nine and 10 will also be removed to create a new DRS zone and the longest straight on the track.
"I see all of these changes as beneficial for Sunday and we can have some fun on the brakes,'' Ricciardo said.
"It'll make the racing closer, I'm pretty confident of that."
Ricciardo, who will race for McLaren for the first time on Australian soil, said drivers were consulted on the changes.
"Not all drivers will be aligned of course but one thing we can agree on is we want to make Sundays, race day, better,'' he said.
"I had that in mind when I had my input.
"Widening some of the apexes, creating more spaces for an opportunity for more slipstreaming … that was the priority.''
Ricciardo said narrow parts of the track had previously frustrated drivers and the changes could help make the race better for fans and drivers.
"It's been somewhere that has been hard to overtake typically because of that width and because it's so fast in these cars it's even tricker to follow through the high-speed corner sequences.
"By changing some of the apexes and creating some more room, allowing more chance to make a diving overtake, or even change your line to get out of the dirty air, I think it will really help.''
The rescheduled Australian Grand Prix has been added to the calendar from November 18-21, shunted from its usual season opening status in the hope drivers will be vaccinated and Victorian authorities better equipped to handle any future coronavirus outbreaks.
Originally published as Apex predator: Why Ricciardo will go nuts at new Albert Park