Daniel Ric­cia­rdo on the sea­son ahead.

GQ (Australia) - - INSIDE -

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

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