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Daniel Ricciardo exclusive: & # 34; Don't expect him to spank my ass & # 34;

Daniel Reinhard
Daniel Ricciardo exclusive
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How many questions about Sebastian Vettel have you had to answer in the last few months?

R icciardo: Almost too many. But only almost.

We heard that you want to beat him in the first year at Red Bull?

Ricciardo: I want to hit everyone.

Some would call it optimistic. Some a little crazy.

Ricciardo: Yes, that's right. Whether it will work is another matter. But at least that must be my wish. Everyone wants to be the best.

When you have to compete against a four-time world champion in a team duel. Can't you just lose there?

Ricciardo: I think I can win more there. If the car is going well, everyone expects it to win. Nobody expects me to join the team and beat the number 1 driver. That also takes some of the pressure off me. I just want to learn from the best. And then let's see what works.

Have you done or planned something special to prepare for the new task?

Ricciardo: In the last few races I have definitely thought a lot about the next season. I am already excited and happy. I am hungry for success. The preparation mainly takes place in the head. There are so many things that I have to think about in order to achieve my maximum performance.

Are you already thinking about the first pole position or the first victory? Where could it possibly be?

Ricciardo: Yes, yes, a little. (grins) It would be nice if it worked out in Australia. But maybe that's a bit optimistic. I will prepare myself optimally. And when I'm at the start in Melbourne, I want to be the best possible 'Daniel'.

You have to change your mind when suddenly it's not just about World Cup points but there is much more to it?

Ricciardo: The decisive factor is self-confidence. If you have a top car, you have tobe convinced of yourself. You have to believe that you can take the podium places and wins if you have the opportunity.

Have you spoken to your compatriot Mark Webber, as you did on best approach to the task?

Ricciardo: I exchanged a few words with him. But he only advised me to stay relaxed. I should enjoy driving. And above all, I shouldn't change so much. I got the place because I deserved it. So there is no reason to suddenly do everything differently. I just have to keep improving and not allow myself to be distracted by the chaos around me.

Do you already know your new team, the new engineers?

Ricciardo: Next year I'll be working with the race engineer who also looked after Mark. I've met a lot of engineers. Spent some time with them. We started building a relationship. In winter we will work together even more. I'm in the simulator in Milton Keynes a lot to drive the 2014 Red Bull. The main thing is that they understand what kind of car I like. So that we can start right away next year.

How much are you involved in the development for 2014?

Ricciardo: As long as I was at Toro Rosso, not that much. My conversion to a Red Bull driver will not take place until the winter break.

Do you know what to expect from a technical perspective with the new cars?

Ricciardo: That looks pretty complicated. But it will probably be similar to the introduction of DRS and KERS. We learned and understood that relatively quickly. It looks like a lot of work at first. But I think the engineers also do a lot for us, such as calling up the hybrid energy and adjusting the brake balance. It will be a little different, but it won't take long to get used to it.

Is it good for you that there is a little restart on the technical side?

Ricciardo: I think so. Sebastian was so dominant with the old package. If everything stayed the same, he would certainly be dominant next year. With the new regulations he will probably remain dominant (grins), but there is at least a small chance that something will change.

Do you already have his data looked at and compared with their values?

Ricciardo: I haven't done that yet. I didn't have access to it from Toro Rosso.If I had really wanted to, it might have been possible to gain insight. But my focus last season was entirely on Toro Rosso. But I'm going to Milton Keynes for the winter break. I have everything available there. So if I want to know how he did on lap 45 of India, I'll see that. I'll try to find out what he's doing. I'll compare him to Mark and see what happened there. Reading and understanding the data is one of my strengths.

How do you compare to Sebastian Vettel in terms of driving style and setup preferences?

Ricciardo: I don't know exactly yet. Whenever I look at his driving style in the onboard recordings, all I can see is that his car is just phenomenally in good shape.

But you also know the car a little from the Young Driver Test. So you should also know why it is so strong.

Ricciardo: You get a feel for it. The Red Bull is very strong at the rear. It just feels like there's a lot of downforce on the rear axle. You can hit the brakes harder. The stern doesn't start to break out that quickly. You can turn more aggressively into the curve and hit the gas earlier without the tires spinning. The car doesn't have many weaknesses and is very well balanced. I hope that it will still be the same next year.

If we were to offer you today that Sebastian Vettel will also be world champion in 2014 and that you will certainly have a good car to have. Would you go for it?

Ricciardo: Hmmm ... if you would offer me to finish second with the same number of wins, then maybe I would say okay. But when he becomes world champion and I'm fifth in the end, I'll just say 'Fuck'.

Have you adjusted your mind to the fact that it could go like this? That he dominates the team duel like he did against Mark Webber?

Ricciardo: I'm prepared for it to be a challenge and for it to be a challenge too difficult time will be. But I'm not prepared for him to spank my ass. I do hope that I'm closer than Mark. But I don't want to make big speeches here and deliver shit. We'll see what comes out of it. But my expectations are definitely positive.

How do you look at your teammates in general? As a rival? As a friend? As someone you have to hate?

Ricciardo: He is an opponent - like everyone else. But he is a rival to faceMust have respect. I'm new to the team. He sure doesn't expect me to take him out to dinner straight away. He won't invite me either. During the winter tests, we will certainly exchange ideas in order to improve the car. Of course we want to beat each other on the track. That's quite normal. In any case, I will treat him with respect. He has achieved so much. Of course I acknowledge that.

How did you celebrate the first day when you knew for sure that you would be a Red Bull driver in 2014?

Ricciardo: I treated myself to a glass of champagne. I was in Europe with my family. We still had the champagne bottle in the house. We each allowed ourselves a drink. But not anymore.

Will you spend some time in your home town of Perth in winter?

Ricciardo: Definitely. Because the car is finished relatively late, December won't be so crazy. January is going to be really crazy for that. Then I'll come back to Europe.

Will you train harder than usual?

Ricciardo: My physical condition as a Formula 1 driver is good. But of course you can always improve. I try to be fit and healthy so that I can sit relaxed and comfortably in the car.

But it is better not to exercise so much in the sea in Perth. That can be dangerous.

Ricciardo: Yes, I know, because of the sharks. Helmut Marko always tells me: 'If you fly to Perth, please don't go swimming.'

Is there a sport in which Sebastian Vettel can learn from you ? Surfing maybe?

Ricciardo: No, surfing is not my thing. Maybe in tennis. We once played a little with Christian (Horner). There could be a nice game. I would of course win. I would probably beat him in rugby and cricket too. He's probably better at football for that. But then it stops.

You are a funny guy. Do you think you can joke that openly at Red Bull? Or do you have to change there?

Ricciardo: I don't think so. I already had a small discussion with the team's marketing department. You told me my personality fits. That many people like me for who I am. You don't wanna change me Sometimes there will be moments when they will say something. But most of the time, you want me to stay the person I want to be. It should be so.I won't change, don't worry.

Will we continue to see the big grin?

Ricciardo: Of course.

Can you understand why Sebastian Vettel sometimes has a problem with his image? Why he's being booed. Why people don't like that he hides his private life.

Ricciardo: I can understand both sides. Sebastian wants to retire privately and only do what makes him happy. Of course, other people would like to see more and get to know a different side of him. In the end, he's the champion. He doesn't have to please everyone. He does what he has to do. He doesn't care what others say. He is happy and that alone counts. I respect him for that. You have to think of yourself first.

Do you believe that Red Bull has even more interest in your private life and that you need to focus your life even more on the goals ?

Ricciardo: It definitely won't get any easier. But all teams work hard. Even with Toro Rosso - even if we're not on the track. I don't think Red Bull will win because the drivers work 20 days more a year than everyone else. As I said, it won't get any easier, but there will certainly still be time for private life. I think they're smart enough to get this too: Everyone needs time without Formula 1 to relax, to distract the mind. We'll find a good balance there.

How does it look on the track? We know that Sebastian Vettel likes to discuss with the engineers until midnight.

Ricciardo: It's a matter of personal preference. I leave the track when everything is ready. I don't leave anything until the next day. I want to go to bed and know what we have planned for the next day. I will do what is necessary. If I'm done at 10 p.m. and he's still sitting there until midnight, then I won't stay two more hours just to make it look like I'm busy. When I'm done, then I'm done.

In our picture gallery we have the previous highlights from Daniel Ricciardo's career.


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