Ricciardo seeks advantage from experience at Paul Ricard

© XPB 

Daniel Ricciardo believes that his experience racing at the Circuit Paul Ricard could give him the upper hand in next week's French Grand Prix.

"I have raced at Paul Ricard," he confirmed, although he quickly added a caveat. "But I don’t know what configuration we will be using compared to back then."

Even so, that knowledge might give him a key advantage heading into the race compared to those who have never competed at Le Castellet, such as his young Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen.

The last time that Formula 1 races at the venue was at 1990, and the circuit has been heavily updated since then.

More recent races have been held at Magny-Cours, but this is still the first time in a decade that F1 will return to France - which Ricciardo believes is long overdue.

"It’s cool having a French Grand Prix back on the calendar," he said.

"Fingers crossed it provides a good race not only for the French fans but the rest of the world.

"Maybe I will even speak perfect French by the end of the weekend as it’s been a month of French speaking races!' he quipped. "Merci beaucoup, enchanté."

Ricciardo pointed out that next weekend's challenge was very different from the two most recent races on street circuits.

"We’ve come from two street races with Monaco and Montreal, where the risk and reward is a lot higher than at Paul Ricard, which is a pretty open circuit.

"As far as adrenaline goes, it’s probably a bit more mellow than the last few tracks," he noted.

"But if the racing is good then it makes up for it, so hopefully we will get that balance.

"There are some long technical corners, which aren’t always that fun, but they’re a challenge and if you get them right you appreciate it.

"The track will also allow some variations in driving technique and style, which could make it interesting," he predicted.

Although the forecast for next weekend is for generally very warm and sunny conditions, Ricciardo suggested that the weather could still play a role in the race.

"It can get quite windy," he pointed out. "Down the back straight there could be some slip streaming and good overtaking opportunities."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter