Daniel Ricciardo heads into the opening Grand Prix of the new Formula 1 season excited to be racing in front of his home fans at the Albert Park track in Melbourne.
The twenty-seven-year-old is beginning his fourth season with Red Bull Racing in Australia, and his sixth full season in the sport, but knows the furore surrounding him will keep him busy right up until race day.
“It’s always good to be back on home soil and enjoy a bit of sunshine after winter testing,” revealed Ricciardo. “My home race is awesome in so many ways but it’s also super busy and full on, the week for me starts on Monday and doesn’t stop until Sunday night.
“It’s nice that there’s so much media attention at the start of the season and everyone is super excited to see how I go. I try and attend as many events as I can but I’m still there to do a job. We get a pretty big greeting from everyone when we arrive at track each morning, the fans are so enthusiastic!”
Ricciardo admitted it was a positive surprise to have a grandstand named after him this year, and that it will give him even more motivation heading into the opening race of the new season.
“This year they have named a grandstand after me, the Ricciardo Premium Grandstand with views of turns three, four and five, which is pretty cool,” said Ricciardo. “It’s another bit of motivation for me to do well and I will of course give the fans a wave.
“It’s great to have such positive support and I’ve heard the tickets sold out pretty quickly for the stand. I will definitely embrace the weekend, have some fun with it and try and give the fans a reason to celebrate on Sunday.”