Daniel Ricciardo says his disastrous race day in Bahrain will make him a stronger driver for the rest of the 2012 Formula 1 season.
The Toro Rosso driver starred on Saturday at the Sakhir circuit, qualifying a career-best sixth, 11 places clear of his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne. But a poor opening lap in the race put the Australian behind, his final result a disappointing 15th place.
"I think it's going to make me stronger," Ricciardo said at Mugello during the current in-season test. "Unfortunately, you have to go through these low points at some time in your career – all of the good guys have at some point gone through them. As long as you learn from it, and take something from it, and I know I have. You have to improve from it and become better because of it, that's what makes you stronger.
"I'm ready to smash it in Barcelona, and the next three circuits are ones that I love – Barcelona, Monaco and Montreal. I'll set some good expectations for the next few."
Having shared Wednesday's running at Mugello with Vergne, Ricciardo will have the car to himself on Thursday, as the team continues the development of its new exhaust system, as well as evaluating new parts in the floor and the diffuser.
"As far as I know we're not planning any longer runs [on Thursday], so it will be quite short and sharp," he added. "We still need to go through some stuff with the floor and a bit with the diffuser as well, so it's going to be similar to Jean-Eric [on Wednesday]; three or four laps, change, assess, and so on. We've got quite a few things to try.
"It's actually cool; lots of time in the car, and it's good for us to experience how to improve our feedback with the changes."