With just days to wait before the Formula One cars get out on the Albert Park circuit for the season opening Australian Grand Prix, one man more than any other is hoping that the bad luck that hangs over the heads of all Aussie drivers will finally be lifted and he will be the one to reap the rewards, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.
No Australian driver in the history of the Australian Grand Prix has finished higher than fourth, even though Daniel did cross the line in P2 in 2014, he was later disqualified for a fuel irregularity, so this weekend’s goal is to finally become the first Australian to stand on the podium in a legitimate top three position and really give the fans a reason to celebrate.
New season, all-new cars and, of course, it’s your home race – raring to go?
It’s always good to be back on home soil and enjoy a bit of sunshine after winter testing. My home race is awesome in so many ways but it’s also super busy and full on, the week for me starts on Monday and doesn’t stop until Sunday night. I try and attend as many events as I can but I’m still there to do a job.
Naturally, you’re the centre of some attention in Melbourne. Is that a burden or a boost for you?
It’s nice that there’s so much media attention at the start of the season and everyone is super excited to see how I go. We get a pretty big greeting from everyone when we arrive at track each morning; the fans are so enthusiastic. This year they have named a grandstand after me, the Ricciardo Premium Grandstand with views of turns three, four and five, which is pretty cool. It’s another bit of motivation for me to do well and I will of course give the fans a wave. It’s great to have such positive support and I’ve heard the tickets sold out pretty quickly for the stand.
Do you just have to go with the flow and dive in?
Yeah, I will definitely embrace the weekend, have some fun with it and try and give the fans a reason to celebrate on Sunday.