With three consecutive finishes as runner-up in the last three years, it’s been close for Daniel Ricciardo in Singapore, but still no cigar.
The Red Bull Racing driver has grown accustomed to the challenges embodied by the tough Marina Bay circuit, but remembers his first forays into the venue’s hot and humid environment as difficult exercise.
“I have learnt to love the challenge of Singapore. For me, the first year I raced there in 2011 was one of the worst races I have been involved in,” says Ricciardo ahead of next week’s event.
“Physically it was so intense, I just underestimated how hard it would be. I wasn’t in a happy place after that race, it gave me a feeling I never want to experience in a race car again, so I made a promise to myself that I would always come to Singapore over-prepared.
“In a way this is now something I take pride in; I always get there feeling really sharp and well prepared.
“I now really like that challenge and I also thrive in the heat. In a strange way, the pain has become pleasure over the years.”
Gasly heads to unknown territory, and he knows he’ll like it
As an intrepid Aussie, Ricciardo can’t deny he’s a street-fighter as his triumph in Monaco earlier this year – where he last visited an F1 podium by the way – aptly demonstrated.
On can therefore expect the Honey Badger to put his urban skills to good use once again.
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“As everyone knows, I love street circuits. The feeling of driving on the edge, so close to the walls, is something you just can’t get enough of,” he says.
“It’s the original night race and the schedule is always pretty hectic but there is something kind of romantic about going to the track at night and then to bed at four or five in the morning.
“It’s a place where I also have good races and finish pretty strong. I’ve had four podiums and three second places in a row there, so it’s about time I win the damn thing.”
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