Ricciardo joinedIn the Fast Lane co-hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to reflect on his career, as the Aussie Formula 1® star prepares for his 200th F1® race in Belgium this weekend.
Ricciardo joined In the Fast Lane co-hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to reflect on his career, as the Aussie Formula 1® star prepares for his 200th F1® race in Belgium this weekend.
2011 England, Silverstone Circuit - that’s where it all began for a 22-year-old Daniel Ricciardo. With only one week’s notice, the Perth native got the call to step-up and compete in the Formula 1® British Grand Prix for HRT.
“I won’t lie, I was intimidated by being there. I was excited and yes, I believed in myself, like I knew I didn’t just get put there for the sake of being put there. But as you’ve said, you’ve got all these world champions on the grid and now you’re part of those twenty-two at the time, pretty wild,” said Ricciardo.
Fast forward a year later to Bahrain, where our plucky driver qualified sixth - a career-best for Ricciardo and one that solidified his confidence on the grid.
“It was the realisation that I was like, alright I do have this, but also that realisation was a little bit scary because this is it now – ok you’ve got it so make the most of it,” said Ricciardo.
“I kinda kept pulling a rabbit outta the hat. When the team was like, ok he’s hit the roof here, and then I’ll do another one,” he continued.
From there Ricciardo, or as some know him ‘the Honey Badger’, became a beloved F1® driver, carving out his place amongst the grid as a fun-loving competitor.
During In the Fast Lane’s trip down memory lane, Ricciardo recalled his podium finish and later disqualification at the 2014 Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix.
“The last corner of the last lap, through the last right-hander, everyone was up it was cool. I loved that whole feeling - it was wild.”
Despite the unfortunate outcome and a sombre night that followed, Ricciardo was able to focus on the positives.
“Internally there was some celebrating inside me because I knew what I’d achieved on that weekend. I kind of ticked the box to myself that ok I can do this, I can race at the front,” he said.
That experience didn’t keep Ricciardo down, five Grands Prix later the smiling assassin was celebrating his first Formula 1® win in Canada.
“For a moment, I’ve still literally got the image in my head, I had a fear that my hands would freeze, and I wouldn’t be able to change gear anymore … because I knew then it was mine to lose because it was so close to the end of the race. Then as soon as I upshifted out of turn two, I was like sweet I got this.”
All of Australia would surely agree, it’s only fitting the Honey Badger once again cranks out another great result to mark his incredible 200th milestone.
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