Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has put Monaco misery behind him and is hoping for another epic Formula One battle this weekend with Lewis Hamilton in Montreal.
Two weeks after taking a first pole position, only to lose out on victory for the second straight race through no fault of his own, the Australian returns to the scene of his first grand prix victory in feisty mood.
Triple world champion Hamilton, aiming for a fifth Canadian GP win, and his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg will be favourites again.
But Ricciardo reckons he can be a contender, particularly at 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,” Ricciardo said on social media.
“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,” added the Australian, whose 18-year-old Dutch teammate Max Verstappen won in Barcelona.
Renault’s latest specification engine, which Red Bull use with Tag Heuer branding, has provided a good boost in horsepower to help close the gap.
Canada has been a rollercoaster for Ricciardo in the past, his breakthrough win in 2014 followed by 13th 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 lists, on 51 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 team boss Toto Wolff. “It took a bold strategy, a big push from Lewis and an even bigger slice of luck with Daniel’s slow pitstop to get us that win.
“We have no breathing space in this championship.”
Ferrari hope to add to the pressure, after their early promise fell off. Monaco, with Kimi Raikkonen retiring and Sebastian Vettel fourth, was their worst result of the season.