Ricciardo hopes it'll be 3rd time lucky in Canada

A botched pit stop by his team saw Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo miss out on winning last month's Monaco Grand Prix. The Australian is now looking forward to Montreal where he has good memories, having clinched his maiden win at the Canada GP in 2014.
A botched pit stop by his team saw Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo miss out on winning last month's Monaco Grand Prix. The Australian is now looking forward to Montreal where he has good memories, having clinched his maiden win at the Canada GP in 2014. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has put his Monaco misery behind him and is hoping for another epic battle with Lewis Hamilton in Montreal this weekend.

Two weeks after taking a first Formula One pole position, only to lose out on victory for the second race running due to a pit-stop error by his team, the smiling Australian returns to the scene of his first Grand Prix victory in feisty mood.

Triple world champion Hamilton, aiming for a fifth Canadian Grand Prix win after also taking his first career triumph at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve, and his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg will be favourites again.

But Ricciardo reckons he can be a contender, particularly on a track where the weather can act as a leveller. Temperatures are forecast to be cool with some rain.

"Now that I've sort of got over Monaco, I just want to get back in the car and basically smash it and get amongst it," the Australian said. "You're going to see the same intensity that you saw in Monaco. I plan on keeping that up and not letting anything else get in the way."

Renault's latest specification engine has provided a good boost in horsepower to help close the gap.

Canada has been a roller coaster for Ricciardo in the past. His breakthrough win in 2014 was followed by a 13th-place finish last year when Hamilton won from pole position. He was 15th in 2013.

Hamilton has the momentum from Monaco and is a renowned master of Montreal while Rosberg, 24 points clear at the top, will want to hit back after two races without points.

Another win for either would take Mercedes level with Red Bull in the all-time list, with both teams on 51 Grand Prix wins each, but the champions know the pressure is on.

"The main thing we took away (from Monaco) was the very real threat from Red Bull," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. "It took a bold strategy, a big push from Lewis and an even bigger slice of luck with Daniel's slow pit stop to get us that win. We have no breathing space in this championship."

Meanwhile, Formula One is planning to add more cockpit cameras and gather biometric data from drivers, possibly as early as this season, to provide a better understanding of accidents and improve safety.

Drivers' radio earpieces now also incorporate tiny accelerometers, wired through to the car's electronic control unit, that measure the forces the head is subjected to in any impact.

Laurent Mekies, the General Manager (Research) for the International Automobile Federation's Global Institute, said there is more to come. Biometrics, gathering data such as a driver's heart rate, body heat and sweat levels, are the next step.

"I hope that we will be able to put something on a driver before the end of the season, at least in a test," he told the latest edition of the FIA's Auto magazine.

"Biometric data will help us to assess the driver's conditions before, at the time of the crash and after the crash as far as the rescue operations are concerned."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2016, with the headline 'Ricciardo hopes it'll be 3rd time lucky in Canada'. Print Edition | Subscribe