Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo is relishing the chance to hit the streets of Monaco next weekend as Formula 1 prepares for its annual glamor event.
Mixing opulence with speed, the risk and reward of racing at Monaco is higher than at any other circuit in the sport, with the imposing walls waiting for any driver that pushes too hard or makes a mistake.
Although the fine margin of error may be a concern for some drivers, Ricciardo is only buoyed by the challenge, and is excited to be heading back to Monaco next weekend.
“From the driver’s point of view – and maybe teams see it differently – the best thing about coming to Monaco is that it’s a circuit where the driver has more influence on events,” the Australian said.
“Driving a Formula 1 car anywhere is special – the speed, the power and the acceleration just blows you away – but here it’s like trying to do a lap in a supermarket, and that’s just so, so cool.
“I know there’s that quote about racing at Monaco being like riding a bicycle around your bathroom – well when I was a kid I used to love riding my little bike around inside the house. It was more fun, there were more obstacles and a bit more danger.
“That really is what this is like: You have the walls around the circuit and the bumps on the track that make it a bit more real. The circuit has a lot of character; you can feel that in the car.
“You can’t afford mistakes, your concentration levels rocket and you tend to amaze yourself with how quickly you manage to do everything. Just completing a lap feels like an achievement.”
The race is one of the most popular on the F1 calendar for celebrities and other big public figures, and although the social side of the event is not Ricciardo’s main interest, the Red Bull driver admitted that it does add a certain buzz to proceedings.
“There’s so much energy surrounding it: the big boats; the big spenders; the cool people, the Hollywoods – it’s all there,” Ricciardo said.
“I wouldn’t say I’m massively into that stuff at any other time of the year, but it creates a crazy atmosphere over the weekend here and that really makes the adrenaline rocket.”