Ric­cia­rdo hits the gym for hot laps

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - STE­WART BELL

David Reynolds (Holden) Jamie Whin­cup (Holden) Scott McLaugh­lin (Ford) Fabian Coulthard (Ford) Mark Win­ter­bot­tom (Ford) An­dre Heim­gart­ner (Nis­san) Chaz Mostert (Ford) Tim Slade (Holden) An­ton de Pasquale (Holden) Craig Lown­des (Holden) AUS­TRALIAN For­mula 1 driver Daniel Ric­cia­rdo has left no stone un­turned in his quest to win tonight’s Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix.

He has been sweat­ing up a storm in the gym for nines­traight days in seven lay­ers of cloth­ing, with the heat maxed out to “get com­fort­able in the un­com­fort­able”.

Ric­cia­rdo, free from spon­sor­ship com­mit­ments be­tween races, also shunned so­cial me­dia, know­ing it could be his last chance for vic­tory for a while.

His Red Bull Rac­ing car is suited to the tight-and-twisty Ma­rina Bay Street Cir­cuit and he will switch to a less-com­pet­i­tive Re­nault drive from 2019.

“I had nine days pretty much of no dis­trac­tion since (the Ital­ian Grand Prix at) Monza, and it was time for me to put ev­ery­thing into this,” Ric­cia­rdo said.

“It was re­ally just eat, sleep, train, and that was it. A lot of heat train­ing.

“It’s the hottest race of the year, it’s the long­est race of the year, and it’s the tough­est one.

“I want to get com­fort­able in the un­com­fort­able, so I was in a gym with seven lay­ers of cloth­ing on, the heat was right up and I was on the bike.”

There’s good rea­son for the pun­ish­ing gym ses­sions, with the sport’s orig­i­nal night race eas­ily the tough­est on the cal­en­dar.

“It’s a men­tal game as well,” said Ric­cia­rdo, who is a Sin­ga­pore specialist, hav­ing been on the podium there ev­ery year since 2014.

Pic­ture: ROBERT CIANFLONE/GETTY IMAGES

TOP DRIVE: David Reynolds leads the way in the race for pole at the Sandown 500 in Mel­bourne yes­ter­day.

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