Formula One Fantasy - HRTs Daniel Ricciardo 04 Nov 2011
This time last year Daniel Ricciardo was preparing to star at the end-of-season young driver test in Abu Dhabi for Red Bull. Twelve months on and hes not only completed eight Friday practice sessions for Toro Rosso, hes raced for HRT at the last nine Grands Prix. Its been a pretty phenomenal rise through the ranks for the young Australian, but he still has plenty of boxes to tick on his ultimate wish list of F1 dreams - including racing round a Macau/Brands Hatch/Nordschleife/Bathurst mash-up of a track in Fangios Alfa Romeo
Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit - which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?
Daniel Ricciardo: Las Vegas or New York. I have never been to either, but Im sure it would be awesome. The Americans do it big!
Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
DR: Ayrton Senna, so I could learn how the hell he drove in the wet.
Q: Formula One innovations of the past - ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?
DR: V10 engines - for the sound!
Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
DR: Nothing too futuristic. Keep it old school. More horsepower is never a bad thing and we have got to keep that noise to make our eardrums ring for days.
Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life - which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
DR: Probably the old Nordschleife. Macau would come a very close second and Bathurst (although I have never raced there) would be amazing too.
Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March are just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced with and why?
DR: That's a tough one. I don't really have an answer, but Fangios Alfa Romeo from the early 1950s would have been special.
Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
DR: The Dipper at Bathurst, the second sector at Macau where it's a fast right and then a flat-out left-right combination, and the back section of Brands Hatch. High speed and undulations are where the partys at.
Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?
DR: Probably the 1980s. But, honestly, I think each decade has been special in one way or another so I would take any. Even before the 1980s, like the 1950s or 1960s, they must have been interesting cars to drive.
Q: What current Formula One regulation would you most like to change and why?
DR: Id like to give my car a bit more horsepower! (laughs) Honestly I think were in a good era at the moment and the racings been exciting so I wouldn't change much. I would like to see the field closer together though. That's one thing which would make even better racing.
Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past (from different eras) to watch race against each other, who would you pick?
DR: Ayrton Senna and James Hunt.
Q: If you were a team boss, which current driver would you pick first for your team (excluding yourself and your current team mate)?
DR: Cole Trickle or Rowdy Burns! (laughs) (both characters in the film Days of Thunder)
Q: Just 19 of the worlds motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
DR: Macau. I know its tight, but damn it would be fun.
Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?
DR: Valentino Rossi, Travis Pastrana, Wayne Gardner, Dale Earnhardt. Ive always loved all types of racing and particularly two-wheel racing, so I have idols in other areas and I think it would be cool to learn about their personalities and the way they go about things. The two-wheel guys are nuts so they would be a lot of fun Im sure. And Dale Earnhardt was a hero of mine as a kid. I loved watching NASCAR and he was The Intimidator.
Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past (excluding those made by your own team). Which car would you choose?
DR: The McLaren MP4/4
Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes dont possess. If you could add one thing to your teams motorhome, what would it be?
DR: A rooftop cinema with a spa and a table tennis table. Perhaps a little bar in the corner with some nice waitresses would fit in nicely too.
DR: Imagine you have just won the world title. Where would you go for your celebratory meal and what would choose from the menu?
DR: I would probably invite everyone to my home in Australia and get mum to cook up a storm. I personally would go for her Italian-style schnitzel. The weather would be perfect, so wed be wearing shorts, t-shirts and no shoes in a typical Aussie style in the summer. You beauty!
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