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Ricciardo hopes conventional circuits ‘fast-track’ progress

Daniel Ricciardo says he hopes upcoming events will allow him to “fast-track” his progress with McLaren amid a difficult string of races.

Ricciardo slumped to 12th position in Monaco, where team-mate Lando Norris finished on the podium, and crashed out of Q2 in Azerbaijan.

Ricciardo avoided a penultimate lap hit from Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi to score ninth but suggested a return to “more conventional” circuits will aid his prospects.

Circuit Paul Ricard will host next weekend’s French Grand Prix while the Red Bull Ring will then hold back-to-back events in Austria.

“I have always liked street circuits but I think at the moment a more conventional circuit would be a little more kind,” he said.

“I have criticised that place [Paul Ricard] in the past for being too open. But I think after Baku some of us will be glad that we have some runoff. I look forward to it. Three on the bounce. I think I need it at the moment just to keep in the car and keep in the rhythm.

“When you’re trying to learn any sport, the best way to learn is practice, and doing it.

“The unique thing with our sport is that we cannot do it every day, we cannot just go out tomorrow and run a few laps.

“So having three consecutive weekends and putting in a practice consecutively will fast-track my progress.”

Ricciardo conceded that he took a slightly conservative approach in order to reach the finish, recognising the value of gathering more experience in the MCL35M.

“I felt like the start was looking all right, I thought I had a run on [Carlos] Sainz and then I think [Fernando] Alonso was on his inside so we were three wide into T1,” he said.

“I was on the outside and I had to back out otherwise I was going to eat another barrier, and I think once in a weekend is enough. Then into T2 it all bottlenecked and I got hit from behind.

“It was all good to get points, and after [qualifying] to get the laps in and continue to circulate and learn a bit more.”

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