Ricciardo and Verstappen eye 'defining moment' of the season

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
ยฉ Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo is happy to finally get back to racing in Europe, after the first four fly-away races of the 2018 Formula 1 world championship.

"Barcelona is always an exciting time of the year," said the Red Bull driver this week. "Itโ€™s the start of the European season. The time where you see lots of car development, and in a way the start of summer which I love."

Ricciardo is certainly no stranger to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Like all the drivers in Formula 1, he's very familiar with the circuit from hours and days or pre-season testing.

"The Barcelona circuit is fun, weโ€™ve done a lot of laps around there and we know it very well," he acknowledged

"Nonetheless itโ€™s certainly not boring and we always enjoy going back. The race is kind of a staple in the F1 calendar now. The track has a bit of everything,

"Last year I got my first podium of the season there which was cool," he recalled. "So we will try and go for the same or better this year."

Ricciardo made no mention of the events last weekend in Baku, in which his race came to a disastrous end after colliding with team mate Max Verstappen.

Not surprisingly, it was a topic that Verstappen also kept well away from when thinking about the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.

"Everybody has done a lot of laps in Barcelona but Iโ€™m looking forward to seeing how the cars progress this year," he said.

"We have many updates coming, hopefully they will be positive and we can be even closer to the front, but of course everybody else will also bring new parts.

"It could be quite a defining moment for the season.

"Iโ€™m interested to see how everyone will perform. I believe our car is very fast, we still need a bit more top speed but hopefully that will come."

Verstappen has particular reason to be excited about returning to Barcelona. Two years ago he made his dรฉbut for Red Bull at the venue - and won the race.

"I am of course also looking forward to the weekend as I have good memories from my first F1 win there," he said.

He added that he was happy that the start of the European leg also meant that the teams would be arriving at the track with their full hospitality units.

"I will be happy to start the European season and have the comforts of the Energy Station!" he admitted.

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