Ricciardo to take conservative F1 approach

Australia’s Red Bull star Daniel Ricciardo says he’ll adopt a less attacking approach in 2016 in an attempt to improve on last year’s two Formula One podium finishes.

Ricciardo is recognised as one of the exciting drivers in the sport but the West Australian acknowledged he’ll need a more pragmatic style to better his eighth-place in the world championship standings.

The 26-year-old wasn’t helped by problems Red Bull had with Renault engines in a season dominated by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes but said he needs to be more focused on the track.

“My mindset has changed this year in terms of setting targets,” Ricciardo told the Keeping Track podcast.

“Deep down I know what my goals are, but I don’t want to say for example that by the fourth race I’ll have a podium. I just want to drive as fast as I can and take it as it comes.

“It makes the approach in my mind a bit more conservative, but on the flipside it makes you hungrier to get back to the success.

“I only had a couple of podiums last year, but when I stood up there, I really made sure I soaked up every second I was up on that podium.

“It certainly makes you appreciate it.”

The opening race of the season takes place in Melbourne next month and Ricciardo is confident of an improved season despite the team failing to offload Renault engines for an alternative supplier.

“The first year, you get in the car and you’re exhausted, and it’s only Friday,” he said.

“That’s managing the more stressful side of racing at home, but it’s awesome having all of that extra support to start the season there.

“It makes me even more motivated to get going and make sure I arrive in Melbourne in the right shape and in the right frame of mind.”

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