F1’s Daniel Ricciardo gets jump — albeit briefly — on a F/A-18 Hornet Air Force jet (VIDEO)

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No matter how many times we see things like this – regardless if it’s an Indy car, an NHRA Top Fuel dragster, or in this case a sleek Formula One ride – we never get tired of seeing land-based horsepower go up against air-based horsepower.

Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo recently put his sleek Infiniti to the test against a F/A-18 Hornet Air Force jet from his native Australia – and we have the video to show what happened.

While Ricciardo is still upset about being disqualified at the F1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix last week, he was virtually nothing but smiles filming his car going head-to-head – or should we say wing-to-wing – with the jet.

From a standing start, Ricciardo’s Infiniti appears to spin its tires, but still gets the advantage over the jet as they rocket down an airport runway.

But that lasted just a couple of seconds as the Australian Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) pilot Michael Keightly left Ricciardo in his dust.

The video offers a subtle message, obviously aimed at young viewers, about the advantages of enlisting in the RAAF – if you want the thrill of being a fighter pilot – or how to start your path towards potentially one day working in F1.

In that same vein, Ricciardo promoted the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy, which is designed to train potential race engineers.

In an Infiniti-sponsored contest that ends on April 11, the program will choose three students who will earn a one-year work assignment at Red Bull’s F1 head quarters in Milton Keynes, U.K.

Click here for more information on how to enter (but be cognizant of the eligibility criteria – you must be studying for an engineering or “relevant science undergraduate degree,” according to the contest rules).

Just being an avid F1 fan – even if you live and die for Red Bull’s success – won’t make the cut.

In addition, contest hopefuls must be in one of Infiniti’s 11 “Focus Markets: Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico and the United States.

Not only will the three chosen students work on car development, they’ll receive a free Infiniti car lease for their time there, travel arrangements, salary, accommodations and a trip to the British Grand Prix.

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James Hinchcliffe on Andretti: ‘It’s certainly the place I want to be’

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Since before the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, James Hinchcliffe tirelessly has worked to ensure the future would include a full-time return in 2021.

And with an opportunity to run the final three races this season with Andretti Autosport, there seems a surefire (albeit unlikely) path.

“If I go out and win all three,” Hinchcliffe joked with IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview Friday (watch the video above), “it would be hard for them to say no, right?”

Regardless of whether he can go unbeaten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next weekend or the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida (where he earned his first career win in 2013), Hinchcliffe will have the chance to improve his stock with the team that he knows well and now has an opening among its five cars for 2021.

All three of Hinchcliffe’s starts this season — the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, July 4 at the IMS road course and the Indianapolis 500 — were with Andretti, where he ran full time in IndyCar from 2012-14.

“Obviously, the plan from January 2020 was already working on ’21 and trying to be in a full-time program,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being reunited with Andretti Autosport, and everybody there has been so supportive. It’s been a very fun year for me on track. It’s been kind of a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways.

“It’s certainly the place I want to be moving forward. We’ve been working on that, working on those conversations. Genesys has been an incredible partner in my three races. We’ll be representing Gainbridge primarily, but Genesys will still have a position on our car in the last three.”

Gainbridge is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Dallara-Honda that was vacated by Zach Veach, who left the team after it was determined he wouldn’t return in 2021. Hinchcliffe can empathize having lost his ride with Arrow McLaren SP after last season with a year left on his deal.

“You never want to earn a ride at the expense of somebody else in the sense that has happened here with Zach,” Hinchcliffe said. “I feel bad that he’s not able to see out the last three races of his season. I’ve got a lot of respect for him off track. He’s been a teammate this year, a colleague for years before that and honestly a friend for years before that. I’ve got a lot of time for him and his family. I understand a little bit of what it’s like in that position and what he’s going through.”

Hinchcliffe is ready to seize the moment, though, starting with the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had been hoping to add the Harvest Indy Grand Prix to his schedule and had been working out for the possibility.

“Then last week I had given up hope (and) was resigned that wasn’t happening,” he said. “I told my trainer, ‘I think we’re done for this year.’ Three days later, this call comes. I’m glad we didn’t make that decision too early. I feel great physically.

“I look at it as a great opportunity to continue to show I’ve still got what it takes and should be there hopefully full time next year on the grid.”

Watch Hinchliffe’s video with Leigh Diffey above or by clicking here.