Daniel Ricciardo heads to Sochi determined to build on his winning Italian Grand Prix momentum to deliver to McLaren another healthy haul of points.
The Aussie led a dominant McLaren 1-2 at Monza's Temple of Speed, returning his team to the victory circle for the first time in almost a decade and reviving his own form after a struggling first half of 2021.
"A week on from Monza, it still feels good thinking about being back on that top step of the podium" Ricciardo said in McLaren's Russian Grand Prix preview.
"We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to end a triple-header. I loved competing at the front of the grid and having the chance to fight for the win.
"The one-two finish is a product of hard work throughout the team and from myself.
"Since the start of my journey with McLaren I’ve been working through the challenges that come with adapting to a new car, but the team has been really supportive throughout.
"It’s great to have a result that completes that picture, and to have the team back in the winner’s circle has been a ride and I’ve only been a part of it for six months. It’s been the boost we all needed."
Ricciardo reckons that his quest for big points on Sunday will start with a productive performance in qualifying the day before.
"I want to build on my Monza performance this weekend and will be pushing to score important points to keep up the fight with our competitors," he added.
"Sochi can be a tricky circuit to make a move, so it’s important to make the most of qualifying to give us the best chance for points come Sunday."
After Monza, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl treated his crews to a well-deserved celebration at Woking.
But the German was quick to remind everyone that McLaren remains engaged in an intense battle for third in the Constructors' standings with rival Ferrari, and thus needs to keep its head down.
"There’s still a long way to go for us as a team through the remainder of the season, he said.
"We will continue to keep our feet on the ground and our heads down as the battle in the Constructors’ Championship is still closely contested.
"Our key priorities remain the same: staying on top of reliability and parts management, extracting the best performance from our car alongside our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, and capitalising on every opportunity that presents itself.
"The Sochi Autodrom is dominated by two long straights resulting in a high power sensitivity, however, the track presents relatively limited opportunities to overtake.
"Therefore, it’s key we maximise our results in qualifying to give both cars the best possible chance to fight higher up the grid on Sunday."