Red Bull Racing 2014 recruit Daniel Ricciardo admits he is already brimming with excitement prior to the start of the new Formula 1 season this weekend, as he prepares to entertain his home crowd in the season-opening Australia Grand Prix.
The Australian will begin his new life as a Red Bull driver in this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated season opener in Melbourne, and is relishing the prospect of wowing his home crowd to get his partnership with the team off to a memorable first chapter.
“I’m very, very excited about the new season”, said Ricciardo heading into his home grand prix, one Mark Webber could not reach the top step of the podium in.
“If we went to Malaysia or Bahrain for the first race then I’d be able to ease into my career with Infiniti Red Bull Racing but in Oz, I assume the weekend will be right up there in my face! I’ll enjoy it and hopefully use the positive energy of the crowd to give me a good result.”
With the sport beginning a new era in terms of technical modifcations surrounding the cars, Ricciardo expects the Australian race to be another dramatic encounter, the Albert Park circuit often prone to throwing up a chaotic race.
“Albert Park always tends to be a pretty exciting race. It’s great that Australia has a grand prix and a source of pride that it’s everybody’s choice to kick-start the season”, added Ricciardo.
“It’s always good fun going to Melbourne, it’s a great city and I like racing on street circuits. The Albert Park track is very bumpy and you have to contend with all the road markings – when it’s wet those are very slippery! It also has some really good changes of direction with right-left, right-left turns in rapid succession.
“Full-time racing circuits tend to be very smooth and have plenty of grip. You don’t get that with a street circuit: at the start of the weekend they’re pretty dirty and gradually they clean up as cars sweep the racing line and put down rubber in the braking zones. It’s nice to feel the track evolve underneath your car and know that it’s going to get quicker throughout each session.”