Daniel Ricciardo heads into the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend with the hope that his Infiniti Red Bull Racing team and their engine suppliers Renault can boost his performance and hopefully help him challenge for better results than he could achieve in the season opener down under in Australia.
Despite finishing a lapped sixth at Albert Park, Ricciardo heads into the Malaysia Grand Prix with his spirits high, and hopes to be driving an improved RB11 this weekend around the Sepang circuit.
“I’m feeling good coming into Malaysia,” admitted Ricciardo. “I know we have a lot of things to improve on and I’m optimistic that we can achieve some of those in Malaysia, which will give us some more performance. I’m just hanging out waiting to drive now, but it’s good.
“The season has started now and I think if anyone had any first race jitters they’re gone and I think Malaysia should run a lot smoother for everyone.”
Ricciardo speaks about the importance of being properly prepared and properly hydrated ahead of what is traditionally a very difficult race for the body with the high temperatures and high humidity.
“I think once you’re in the car it’s hard, the work is done before getting in it,” insisted Ricciardo. “Hydration is really, really important and keeps you cooler. The more hydrated you are, the more your body dispatches the heat.
“And do some heat training before the event to make it feel like it’s not as hot, but once you’re in the car, it’s like a sauna and you can’t get out of it.”
Another factor that can affect the Malaysian Grand Prix is the unpredictability of the weather, with rain often a threat to the racing. Ricciardo admits to enjoying racing in the rain, and finds it satisfying when wet races go his way.
“I think racing in the wet is a bit of a love/hate relationship,” revealed Ricciardo. “Sometimes you have a really good wet race and all of a sudden you’re the rain master and other times it just doesn’t quite work.
“Generally I think it’s a really good challenge, visibility is a lot worse and the car is obviously a lot harder to manage. I think if you master the rain conditions it is a very satisfying feeling.”