Daniel Ricciardo has been talking to Autosport, giving them the lowdown on the psyche behind the smile. The grinning honey-badger has spoken about Red Bull’s sh*tty 2015 form, and how the memories of that poor season are spurring him on now.
The Aussie’s breakthrough season came in 2014 with three memorable wins, outshining his then teammate Sebastian Vettel quite regularly. The following season wasn’t so great, the Renault power-unit the cause of riffs between Red Bull and the French Engine supplier. Ricciardo’s best result that season was a 3rd place in Hungary, the only time the Red Bull would make the podium.
Watching Ricciardo last season was like watching a fin-less shark hunt prey, the ferocity was there, but the package was hampered. This season, Daniel Ricciardo is leading the Red Bull team back into contention, and the RB12 looks like a potential race winner somewhere along the line.
“I feel that each year in the sport, I’m learning more but I’m also wanting more out of it. This is good for my hunger. It can lead to some frustrations when things don’t go well but I don’t feel it’s affecting me in the car. If anything, it’s extracting more out of me.”
Daniel also appears to relish having the young protege Max Verstappen as his team-mate this season, adding,
“With Max now it’s been really cool, We are pushing each other and the team sees that and they are excited about the line-up we have. We are all super-competitive but it’s pushing the team in a good direction,and a strong direction.
In my mind it’s pushing us towards a championship car in 2017 and I hope that’s what we can get for the next step. The chassis, we can lean on it and you can feel it work and that’s good. You get that confidence back in the car; you get the confidence like in Monaco to show it.”
In all seriousness Ricciardo’s probably pointing out Monaco yet again just because it was the greatest chance so far for a win. He must have forgiven his team by now surely?
Red Bull suffered massively with tyre degradation in Baku, this was mainly down to the unusually smooth track surface, which also played into the hands of Mercedes. In Austria, track surface is more conventional, so Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will likely be closer than they were in Baku.