Ricciardo: “Not easy” to make friends in F1 life

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Formula One is certainly filled with glitz and glamour, but Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo knows another truth about the F1 life: It can be tough to find a pal.

“You try to make friends along the way but it is not easy,” the Australian driver said in a James Phelps-penned piece for today’s Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, Australia).

“The friends you tend to make are drivers because you spend most of your time at a track…But in this business, you are one out a lot of the time. It is hard to make friends because of all the traveling we do and how busy we are. I am never in one place at one time and it is impossible to build a network of friends.”

Ricciardo tells Phelps that he has a good rapport with Infiniti Red Bull driver and fellow Aussie Mark Webber, but that he doesn’t always get along with all of the other racers on the grid. In addition, he constantly checks in with family from Down Under – some of which will see him compete next weekend at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The Perth native has been looking to take himself and Toro Rosso farther up the pecking order in 2013, and a good opening round in front of his relatives (and his countrymen) would be a solid first step.

But while he’ll be raring to go for his home event, it sounds like he’s looking forward to post-race even more.

“That is the hardest thing, missing my family and mates,” he also said to the Telegraph. “I don’t get to see them much, but this week a few of them are coming from Perth. But honestly, my only chance to see them will be on Sunday night when it is all over.

“I can’t wait to catch up, because I don’t know when I will see them again.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.