Fresh off claiming his fifth Formula 1 Grand Prix victory last time out in Baku, and having celebrated his 28th birthday this weekend, it’s no surprise that Daniel Ricciardo is in high spirits heading to Red Bull’s home race in Austria.
“We get the full Red Bull hospitality when we’re at the Austrian Grand Prix,” he said. “You definitely feel part of a big family as a Red Bull athlete.
“We have done some pretty crazy things at the track,” he admitted. “Wearing the lederhosen race suit is something different!
“A few weeks ago Max and I raced caravans there. To be honest I’m not sure they would have let us do that anywhere else as the caravans were destroyed, but we loved it!”
Not that it will be all fun and games at the Red Bull Ring. This will be the third time that the Austrian Grand Prix had been held at the venue – and so far, Mercedes have claimed the honours on all three occasions.
The circuit, previously known as the Österreichring, features just nine turns on the 2.688-mile track. It was purchased by Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz in 2004 and extensively renovated to FIA standards.
Ricciardo is hoping that home advantage – and the momentum from his win in Baku – will help him take the team’s first victory at the Red Bull Ring.
“At any kind of power circuit like Austria you want to be smooth and get good exits in order to give yourself the best chance on the long straights,” he said.
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“The compromise is always the aero package,” he admitted. “In the middle to the end of the lap you want more downforce because the corners are quite fast. But more downforce means you are slower on the straights.
“The key is to find a good balance throughout the lap.
“I really enjoy the track and the only downside is that I wish it was a bit longer,” he added. “I wish it had a few more corners. But the corners that do exist are great fun.
It’s not long before Ricciardo’s thoughts stray back to some of the other attractions on offer at Spielberg. One subject in particular was on his mind – as usual.
“I know we always get on to food!” he laughed. “But I really do look forward to a good schnitzel. Ooh, I love schnitzel with fresh lemon and cranberry jam. It’s so good.”
Hopefully there won’t be too much schnitzel on offer next week that Ricciardo has to resort to supersizing the cockpit of the RB13 before climbing in.
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