Daniel Ricciardo is fit, strong and ready for Sunday’s season opening 2017 Formula 1 ® Rolex Australian Grand Prix – and says he feels no burden in carrying the hopes of the home nation.
“It's not a weight on my shoulders,” said the Perth-born Red Bull Racing driver and four-time race-winner on Thursday. “It means more work, for sure and this week is easily the busiest F1 week of the year for me.
"But it's all positive support, it's kind of overwhelming actually and I'm surprised so many people are getting behind me and the event ... it won't last forever.
"So it's demanding, it is a tiring week, but it's pretty cool to see so many people supportive of me and the event ... It's pretty much just a bit of extra motivation for me."
Ricciardo is seeking to become the first Australian to win his home event since the race became part of the world championship in 1985.
"If anyone could win just one race, they would always say their home (race)," he said. "It would be good ...I would love to. I'm prepared ...we have all done our work in the pre-season and we feel like we're coming in as well prepared as possible.
“The cars are more enjoyable and they're going to be fast and, for the fans here this weekend, to see the cars on track, the cornering speeds, they will definitely see it!
“So, hopefully, we're cornering quicker than everyone else!"