GPUpdate gets to know... Daniel Ricciardo
12 August 2017 – F1 drivers answer hundreds of questions at each Grand Prix, but how much do we know about their lives away from the track? GPUpdate.net is on a mission to find out more, continuing with Daniel Ricciardo.
Describe your perfect day…
Ooh. At a Vegas pool party, with friends.
Girls, drinks and good EDM music.
What's the best decision you've ever made?
Deciding I wanted to race cars!
Umm. I don't know if it's the biggest one, but I took one of my dad's cigarettes once as a kid and brought it to school, and got told off. I may have been suspended… (Laughs).
How long do you spend getting ready in the morning?
It depends what you call getting ready. I don't count dawdling as getting ready… alright, I do dawdle! It depends if I've got a purpose, I've normally got a purpose. Half an hour! Half an hour to shower, change, brush my teeth – that's without breakfast.
Romain Grosjean still leads the way on four minutes…
Four minutes?! He's French, so he doesn't shower!
Do you prefer a lie in or an afternoon nap?
Ooh. I tend to lie in more, but the satisfaction of an afternoon nap is a lot better. So an afternoon nap, it's more satisfying!
Do you prefer a night in or a night out?
Night out! But it sucks the next day… I prefer a day out, I'm all about day parties, hence the pool party in Vegas. But a night out, anyway.
What's worse, a traffic jam or airport queuing?
Ahh. Airport queuing, because normally you've got the stress of, 'Will I make my flight?', if I don't pass through immigration quick enough, or something. Normally you can't listen to music or be on your phone, because sometimes they're pretty strict. At least in traffic you can listen to music and do things.
How do you kill time at an airport?
I'm listening to a few podcasts these days, so they kind of help to distract you, switch your mind off.
Oh, wow. I've done some stupid things… I don't know if stupid is funny. When I was young I put shaving cream on a friend's car, on his bonnet – it was a picture of a penis. We left it there, kind of thinking that he might have seen it. Anyway, we left it there overnight, and the next day it was really hot, and it may have done something to his paint… I may have f**ked up his paint job with a penis.
I guess your best prank would be something similar?
Me and my friends all do stupid… we used to go away for New Year's, a big group of us. We would just humiliate each other. Every day would be someone else's go, so shaving their head in the night, taking their eyebrows off or pulling their pants down and putting anything we could on them – strip them down naked, using maple syrup, ketchup, shaving cream, shampoo. We were just being idiots and we would always do pranks. It always involved shaving cream and hair clippers, something like that.
What would your karaoke song be?
I would go with… no one probably knows it, but Wagon Wheel, by Old Crow Medicine Show. It's kind of like a fast beat country song.
What's your signature dance move?
I guess I don't really need to demonstrate, do I? I would get the whole body moving, a side step to a little back kick, and then just roll the shoulders back. F**k knows. (Laughs). Or the frog! The frog works… (At this point, Ricciardo stands up and demonstrates the frog dance move, much to the amusement and confusion of Red Bull colleagues).
English, Australian, American and a bit of Italian! (Laughs). Nah, two! (Smiles). Italian is not fluent, but it's enough to say I speak it.
Which language would you most like to learn?
If I count Italian being something I already know, probably French. Women seem to like French. (Said in a French accent) 'It's got quite a sexy sound…'
Street circuit or permanent circuit?
Street! They're just a bit more gnarly, normally. They're bumpier, the walls are there and a lot more s**t normally goes down on a street circuit.
If you could add a circuit to the calendar, which would it be?
Macau! For driving, forgetting the venue, then Macau.
Do you prefer sweet or savoury food?
All my years it's been sweet, but I'm trying to shift that to savoury. I'm trying to reduce my sugar. These days I actually crave more of something savoury, like a good hamburger. My heart is with sweet, but I'm trying to get my head towards savoury.
Ohh. Let's go sweet and savoury: fried chicken and waffles. And a drink: probably an Oreo milkshake.
What's your top barbecue tip?
Keep the lid closed! Get a good smoke going, you want that charcoal kind of essence going through it. And turn regularly!
What's your favourite film?
One I've always said, because it's a bit under the radar as well, is Friday Night Lights, an American football film with Billy Bob Thornton – that was really good.
What's your favourite TV show?
I love Stranger Things, more recently. But as a kid, a teenager, I was in love with One Tree Hill. Classic high school romance!
What's your favourite book?
I need to read The Alchemist, apparently this is awesome. I feel that would probably be my favourite book, but otherwise I don't read much. I couldn't really say!
I guess we're talking more instrumental. Growing up I really loved some hardcore stuff, so Parkway Drive, an Australian band, I got to go on stage with them last year – they're definitely up there. And Alexisonfire. They're probably the two… the list goes on, but I could name those two.
Countryside or city?
Ooh. They both definitely have a place in my heart. Whilst I'm still young, outgoing and single, let's say, it's the city. I do love a cool city, there's so much energy. But I think once I'm done with being young, the country will be a lot more appealing to me.
Summer or winter?
Summer! My plan in life is to not only win a World Championship, but to never see winter again. I want to follow the summer, I don't want to spend any of my year in the winter. (Laughs).
If you had to take one driver to a desert island with you, who would it be, and why? (Asked before their clash in Hungary...)
I'm probably going to say Max [Verstappen]! He's young, he's fun, he enjoys a drink. He's actually got pretty good banter. He's still young and immature, which makes me feel young and immature when I hang around him, so I think we get on pretty well. And he knows some good DJs, so he could bring some along, maybe!
And the one driver you wouldn't take to a desert island?
Any of the Finns, they are just boring as f**k. (Laughs).
What's your best ever overtake?
The one that stands out is probably still the one on [Sebastian] Vettel at Monza (in 2014), that kind of criss-cross (from Curva Grande through Variante della Roggia), just the whole process – it was cool.
What's your best ever race?
I'll say Budapest, 2014! (Wet/dry race, passing Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso late on to win).
What's the weirdest question you've ever been asked?
I guess it was a question. Would you sign my dog? This lady gave me her dog and she wanted me to sign the collar. (Laughs).
Interview by: Mike Seymour