‘It all feels cool’: Home hero Ricciardo raring to go at Renault

Formula 1: Daniel Ricciardo unveils striking new race helmet

Daniel Ricciardo's switch from Red Bull to Renault may have reduced his chances of a podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix, but isn't likely to diminish his support at the season-opening race.

The vehicle was the slowest on track when it did appear, adding to the woes of an outfit who finished last in 2018 and have not won a race since 2012.

Robert Kubica had just tried to make light of his long and mentally taxing time out of Formula One in his typically self-effacing way when fellow driver Daniel Ricciardo took up the theme.

And Ricciardo is delighted to see the 34-year-old back on the grid after overcoming such adversity.

"Emotions? To be honest, I've not really had a lot of time to think about them", he told reporters at Albert Park on Thursday.

After racing in the World Rally Championship, Kubica began testing for Renault in 2017 and was a contender for a Williams drive last season. 'There is no point of wasting energy and time and thinking of hard moments, we just need to do our job.' Ricciardo said of Kubica's return: 'It's awesome to see him back here.

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"I think early on there won't be too many front row starts, so there'll certainly be some cars in front and a win might be optimistic in a few days time, but being the hunter I think that is still going to be a lot of fun this year", he said.

It's awesome to see him back here.

"It's just a testament to his character and I won't ask for everyone to applaud but really I think it's awesome for him to be here".

"We didn't have the flawless start to winter testing, so there are a lot of things to be checked, to see how they will be and yes, let's see".

Kubica said he never entirely gave up on the idea of returning to F1, but there were plenty of doubts before he finally got a start with Williams for the 2019 season. "We have to make sure we maximize our opportunities from what we have".

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