Daniel Ricciardo on the season ahead.
Daniel Ricciardo’s driven an emotional roller-coaster the past two years. His debut season for team Red Bull showed off the then 24-year-old’s obvious skill and determination – ending the 2014 season third overall, with three wins, eight podiums and plenty of promise. But last season stalled, two podium fnishes a disappointing return for both the Perth youngster and his team. Still, with a new season comes renewed desire (and cars), not to mention Ricciardo’s determination to return to the top.
GQ: Last year was a tough one. What were you able to take from it? Daniel Ricciardo:
We didn’t meet the targets we wanted to – but as a team it made us stronger because we found ways throughout the year to improve. I also matured a lot, and took away a personal understanding of how to better control emotions.
GQ: Was the recent break an opportunity to recharge and switch off – how’d you mentally reset ahead of this season? DR:
I hung out with friends and went camping, fshing and rode bikes – enjoying all things Aussie during the summer.
GQ: How do you foresee 2016 panning out? DR:
There probably won’t be too many changes. The rules are pretty much staying the same so the feld should bunch up a little, but I don’t expect anything too drastic. 2017 is going to be the interesting one I think.
GQ: Tell us how you get psyched up for a season? DR:
I’m always psyched and a new year always brings new motivation. I’m not going to do too much different, but I’m making sure I put in the work and train hard. Up until New Years, I gave myself some time off because January is really the heaviest training of the year. It’s then about being healthy, sleeping well and training two times a day, six days a week.
GQ: The opening race is in Melbourne, are you able to enjoy it, given the anticipation for you to perform on home soil? DR:
It’s fun, but it’s also hectic as it’s fullon with media during the build-up. Being the frst race of the year, everyone’s asking questions you can’t really answer yet. But Melbourne is great – I love the city and really like the track.
GQ: Right then, what’s in the garage, in Perth and Monaco? DR:
At home [Perth] I still have my frst car, a Toyota Hilux. I recently bought a 2007 Porsche GT3 RS that’s there too. In Monaco, I did have an Infniti, which is going to change but I haven’t decided to what yet.
GQ: What did you spend money on last year – something indulgent? DR:
I bought a few TAG Heuers – a ‘Carrera Calibre 18’ and a ‘Carrera Calibre Heuer 01’. They look very cool.
GQ: When was the last time you changed a tyre? DR: [Laughs] I don’t think I ever have. GQ: Lewis Hamilton isn’t far off releasing his own music – should Kanye be worried? DR: I haven’t played any of Lewis’ music. I like some of the stuff he listens to but I’m not sure if his music is like that. GQ: So what’s on your pre-race playlist? DR:
It changed a lot last year. It used to always be pretty hardcore, modern-style metal music or fast punk rock. I still listen to that, but I also got into hiphop and electro. Some of my favourite Aussie bands are Parkway Drive and The Amity Affiction. And I like Alexisonfre and A Day to Remember, too. The Melbourne Grand Prix runs March 17-20