Daniel Ricciardo: "I’ve got to get these ants out of my pants now – I’m hanging out to drive!"
Daniil Kvyat (First Practice Session: Position: 11, Best Time: 1:32.073, Laps: 18 / Second Practice Session: Position: 6, Best Time: 1:30.016, Laps: 27): “Everything went quite well and according to plan today – everything felt good. We will do what we can tonight to prepare for tomorrow. It’s too early to see where we are compared to the others as yet – but we’ll see where we can improve overnight. Tomorrow we will know more.”
Daniel Ricciardo (First Practice Session: Position: 10, Best Time: 1:31.570, Laps: 9 / Second Practice Session: Position: -, Best Time: -, Laps: no time): “In FP1 it took us a while to get going and we didn’t get out straight away. A problem with the ICE meant we couldn’t run in FP2, but it’s a problem that we can fix for tomorrow. There’s a lot of time to do what we need, so there’s no concerns – it wasn’t worth rushing it to get five laps this afternoon. We don’t believe it will affect one of the four engines, so it’s not a massive shot in the foot. I will look at what Daniil learnt in FP2 to get a direction for tomorrow – the circuit felt pretty rubbered in already in the morning so I should be able to get up to speed tomorrow. I’ve got to get these ants out of my pants now – I’m hanging out to drive! It’s been a bit of a tease all week, talking about driving, and now I just want to get out there.”
Five not so obvious things we love about the season opener
1. The total destruction of winter health and fitness regimes: Months of sweat, toil and New Year’s fitness regimes in order to present yourself in tip-top shape for the new season and then, on night one in Melbourne, a sociable get together turns into a carb-and-beer-fest of gargantuan proportions, all rounded off at 5am with a pie floater. Oh, the humanity.
2. Counting the number of times an Australian driver will be asked about pressure: Could be any Australian driver, no one in particular…
3. The paddock: It’s got a bit more formal in recent years as the hospitality suites have expanded but there’s still no other paddock like it in F1 and we absolutely love its relaxed and informal vibe. It has all the feel of a garden party or a slightly genteel country fair. In fact, if you turn left at Pirelli we’re fairly sure they’ll be judging the enormous marrow competition soon. That’s not a euphemism.
4. The no-nonsense approach of Australian fans: A bit of friendly banter is very much part of the Aussie culture and is regularly employed by the crowd of fans who patiently wait for autographs behind the barriers across the road for the paddock entrance. Indeed it was only last year that as one notoriously shy and retiring F1 driver strode from car to swipe gate one wag was heard to utter: “Oi, XXXX don’t be a bloody d**khead, it’s only a bloody signature.” Pithy… though at the same time pretty accurate.
5. The first ‘technical explanation’ of the season: There’s always one terrified press officer howling that it isn’t true that such and such a car expired so violently that it shot a con rod into the ionosphere. No, this was in fact a ‘minor technical issue that the team is currently investigating’.
Infiniti Red Bull