Ricciardo ‘excited’ by Singapore victory opportunity

© Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo feels “excited” about his chances of victory in this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix as he bids to score his first Formula 1 win of the 2016 season.

Ricciardo has three grand prix victories to his name, all scored with Red Bull in 2014, the last coming in the Belgian Grand Prix of that year.

Red Bull’s resurgence in 2016 has seen Ricciardo rise to third in the drivers’ championship, trailing only the dominant Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

The Australian came close to winning the Monaco Grand Prix, only for a mistake in the pits by Red Bull to deny him.

With the characteristics of the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore resembling those of Monaco, Ricciardo is hopeful of his victory chances on Sunday.

“It’s obviously the next closest track to Monaco, so sure we look at it as a good chance to try to get the victory I’ve been after this season,” Ricciardo said.

“With the team, since Monaco, a lot of things have been working better, in terms of I think we’ve executed a lot more on a Sunday and I’ve left Sundays feeling a lot happier the last handful of races, so that’s been good on both sides. I feel I have executed as well good things on Sunday.

“I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself or them for this weekend but I think deep down we obviously want to win. I believe we are a group of winners, so if there is a bit of pressure on us to get it done then I think we will thrive off that.

“Let’s see what happens. I’m definitely prepared and excited.”

Ricciardo has recently helped develop the ‘shoey’ craze, after downing sparkling wine from his race boot on the podium following the German Grand Prix.

“As far as I know I started it in Formula 1 but not worldwide,” Ricciardo said.

“It was a few loose Aussies, from what I saw, the Mad Hueys, they’re surfies and fisherman and just loose guys, they travel the world fishing, surfing and whatever and they like to drink a bit of beer and whatnot, and that’s where the shoey began.

“On their travels they’d get people to do it as well and it’s just a bit of a laugh. I know Jack Miller knows a few of the guys from the Mad Hueys, so when he got his win in Assen, I suspected he was going to do it, and he did, so I thought I’d keep the Australian tradition going.

“Now Valentino [Rossi]’s got in on the mix, I saw he Instagrammed it yesterday and he said ‘everyone loves a shoey’, and ‘delicious’, and all that. A few words I used for it. I think it’s just a bit of fun now – everyone’s enjoying it.”

But just how does it taste?

“Honestly, if the sparkling wine is cold, then it tastes good,” Ricciardo said.

“Normally it’s cold on the podium, if it’s warm then sure, you’d get the sweat and that through it, but the cold taste kills the bad stuff, so it’s delicious, as we said!”

Ricciardo added that only victory in Singapore would prompt him to do another shoey.

“If I win, sure! If it’s just a second or third probably not now,” he said.

“For a victory, I’d expect to see a few people do it with me!”

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”