Australian Formula One driver, Daniel Ricciardo, says an off-season of hard work has him in the best condition of his career as he approaches the midway point of his first full F1 campaign with Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Speaking to the Australian Grand Prix ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, the 23-year-old West Australian says the hours spent on his fitness in Perth in January have paid off in spades this season.
“The upside to being a full-time driver is that driving the car is the best way to get fitter for driving, and I’m doing that more than ever,” Ricciardo said.
“I’m probably as fit in the car as I have ever been, and January was a good solid month of six days per week of training, and that’s when you can really find your gains. The off-season is the most important time because you know you’re not going to get many solid weeks of training through the year … with all of the travelling and other commitments.”
Ricciardo’s personal trainer is fellow Australian, Paul Haines, the former fitness manager of the Geelong Football Club who played a significant off-field role in the Cats’ 2007 and 2009 premiership-winning seasons.
“Paul’s pretty disciplined with me … and he’s my right-hand man to an extent,” Ricciardo said.
“Most of our work is done away from the circuit. If I have a week at home in England, out of seven days I’ll be in the gym for six of those, morning and afternoon (with) some cross-training between a bike, treadmill and rowing machine for an hour-and-a-half, the (duration) of a race. In the afternoon we’ll work on building up the core muscles, the neck and some general resistance training.”
In an expansive interview with ‘Keeping Track’, Ricciardo also discussed the impact of mental training and visualisation, and detailed the physical toll that some of the hotter races on the F1 calendar take on a driver.