Daniel Ricciardo has made no secret of his excitement ahead of next weekend’s British Grand Prix as he prepares to return to one of his favorite circuits.
Ricciardo made his Formula 1 debut at Silverstone four years ago, racing for minnows HRT for the second half of the 2011 season before being signed by Toro Rosso for 2012.
Since then, much has changed. The Australian has become a multiple grand prix winner and third-place finisher in the drivers’ championship, leading Red Bull’s charge in 2014.
However, his adoration for Silverstone has not wavered one bit.
“I can’t hide it!” Ricciardo said. “Silverstone’s awesome.
“I love high-speed circuits with high-speed corners. The run from Copse through Maggotts, Becketts, Chapel and then around Stowemaybe – the five coolest corners on the calendar and to have them coming at you one after the other. Yeah, I love it.”
Reflecting on his debut with HRT back in 2011, Ricciardo explained how exciting it was to attack Silverstone behind the wheel of an F1 car for the very first time.
“So at the time it was probably the quickest I’d ever been around the circuit because the HRT was just about faster than the old-spec FR3.5 car,” he said.
“It’s definitely a circuit where, the faster the car, the better the experience – though that’s usually the case with highspeed tracks. I mean, Silverstone’s great in a Formula Renault 2.0. In an F1 car? Epic.”
One of the most striking aspects of Silverstone for Ricciardo is the atmosphere provided by the local fans, regardless of the weather.
“The thing about Silverstone is that it’s packed from Thursday onwards,” Ricciardo said.
“If we have one of those nice, hot blue-sky sunny weekends then the atmosphere’s amazing. If it’s grey, wet and windy then the atmosphere’s still amazing.
“I’m not sure how that’s possible – but Silverstone manages it. As for driving in those conditions, it’s still exciting – but in a very different way!”