Ric­cia­rdo.. . and Ky­vat on Max, Tatts

For­mula 1’s honey badger ex­plains the ori­gins of his un­usual nick­name, and is far from his usual sunny self as he talks about the pain of his de­feat at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix


Daniel Ric­cia­rdo is wrapped up. He’s wear­ing a Red Bull over­coat over his warm top and his choice of drink is telling: “Just a cup of hot wa­ter, please.” He’s not the only one who’s suf­fer­ing from the cold. It is chilly in Mon­tréal, and all of Red Bull’s guests and as­sorted me­dia have crammed into the team’s tiny hospi­tal­ity unit, with the door closed against the cold.

Ric­cia­rdo ar­rived in Mon­tréal with a mood to match the cli­mate: down­cast. He be­lieves he should have won the pre­vi­ous two grands prix, one of which, the Span­ish GP, was snatched by new team-mate Max Ver­stap­pen on his Red Bull de­but. The other, Monaco, was squan­dered by the team’s pit­lane tyre fum­ble that nullied Dan’s hith­erto im­mac­u­late per­for­mance.

There’s the hope of bet­ter things to come, though, with the re­cent ad­di­tion of an up­graded TAG-Re­nault PU. But on this icy morn­ing, Ric­cia­rdo is strug­gling to see the sunny side.

As F1 Rac­ing sits down op­po­site F1’s self­styled ‘honey badger’, we’re hope­ful that a few ques­tions from our read­ers will warm him up. When did you ac­quire the nick­name ‘The Honey Badger’, and who gave it to you? John Slater, New Zealand It was my trainer at the time, Stu­art Smith. He’d shown me a doc­u­men­tary on it, and said: “Dude, this an­i­mal’s great!” I thought it was awe­some. Then he added that he thought I had a lot of honey badger qual­i­ties. And I thought, ‘yeah, I think I do’. So it started from there and that was it and I think I’ve done well to keep it go­ing.

For any F1 Rac­ing read­ers lack­ing the req­ui­site knowl­edge of ex­otic fauna, the ra­tel or honey badger is a par­tic­u­larly feisty weasel-like mam­mal, with great strength for its size, noted fe­roc­ity and skin tough enough to re­sist ma­chete blows. De­spite this, it looks de­cep­tively cute and cud­dly. You have been warned…

Do you have pets? If yes, what are they? Perla Rin­con, Spain No I don’t have any pets. I’m not re­ally an an­i­mal per­son, but if some­one wants to give me a pet honey badger then I wouldn’t say no. Lewis walks into the pad­dock with his dogs and I’d love to walk in with a honey badger on a leash. That’s my vi­sion and my dream!

What is your view of the aero­screen/halo de­bate and its ar­rival in F1 next year? Dun­can Kennedy, UK It’s a tough one. I started rac­ing be­cause I loved it. I loved the speed and I loved the risk. Part of the at­trac­tion is the dan­ger and know­ing that you are do­ing some­thing that’s a lit­tle bit more dan­ger­ous than, say, what a foot­ball player does, and that makes you feel a lit­tle bit cooler. So I do love that as­pect. But for me the whole head pro­tec­tion thing is a dif­fer­ent side of the de­bate. It’s not us be­ing scared, it’s just us elim­i­nat­ing another avoid­able thing. If we’ve got some­thing over our head it’s not go­ing to change the way we ap­proach a cor­ner. If we hit a wall it’s still go­ing to hurt, just as hard, just as much.

So if the halo is just go­ing to pro­tect us from a ying ob­ject then let’s go for it. But also, while

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