As the F1 paddock enjoys its traditional summer break, what better time to quiz the popular Australian on a few other firsts in his life? Among them are accidents, trophies, kisses and more…
Who was your first hero when you were a child?
Daniel Ricciardo: Ayrton Senna.
What was the first Grand Prix you can remember watching?
DR: That would be Adelaide 1993. I was actually there and I was about four years old.
How old were you when you first decided you wanted to be an F1 driver?
DR: I dreamt about it pretty much from then, when I saw them live back in ‘93 in Adelaide. As for when I thought it was going to happen, or when I really knew it was what I wanted, that was probably not until quite late, maybe 16 years old.
When was your first big accident in a race car?
DR: Probably Silverstone in 2010 in World Series by Renault. It was the first time I’d rolled a race car before - any race car, including go-karts - so that was a new experience.
What colour was your first helmet?
DR: For go-karting it was like a motorbike helmet, just one off the shelf, so there was actually a little bit of pink in there, a little bit of blue - I think it was pink, blue and white… it was a bit funky!
When did you win your first trophy in racing and what did it look like?
DR: It was actually my very first race in go-karts. It was a real surprise to me, but I got a trophy: it was the best ‘P’ plater of the day, so the best new driver, because you’ve got to do about four races with a ‘P’ plate. I’d actually left the track after I’d raced, I went back home and Dad stayed there longer with a few friends, and he came back home an hour or two later and he goes ‘Daniel!’ and he opened the front door and I thought I was in trouble, and then he pulls out this trophy and I’m like ‘Oh, I got a trophy!’ So yeah, my very first race - good times! I was probably the only ‘P’ plater there, that’s why.
What was the first road car you drove?
DR: Very first one I drove was actually an old Mini Cooper S. I think it was a 1970 or ’71, around then. That’s where I learned how to drive a manual, heel-and-toe and all that driver stuff.
Where was the first house you lived in?
DR: It was in Balcatta, Perth.
How nervous were you on your first day of school?
DR: I don’t know, too young to remember. I was probably excited, just to meet new people. I loved company, I loved friends, so I was probably excited.
What was the first meal you ever cooked?
DR: Salad, does that count? It was probably pasta.
What was the first thing you did this morning?
DR: I went on my phone - went on my Twitter, checked some emails…
What was the first thing you did after getting your first F1 seat?
DR: First thing I did was tell my parents.
What was the first record you bought?
DR: Probably something very pop so let’s say nothing! The last record I bought was The Amity Affliction, their new album.
What was the first sport you participated in as a kid?
DR: It was Australian rules football.
When was your first romantic kiss?
DR: Depends what you call romantic! My very first kiss I remember was behind the sheds at school - I think it was year six maybe - so I don’t know if it was romantic, but what was I? Ten or 11 years old.
When was the first time you were asked to sign an autograph for a fan?
DR: It was 2005. I won a go-kart race in Melbourne and we had to pre-sign a few things and I didn’t have a signature, so I just did like ‘D’ and then I wrote ‘Ricciardo’ in cursive writing. It was pretty bad - that’s when I realised I might need a signature!
When did you first taste champagne?
DR: Go-karting, yeah, probably in 2002 or 2003.
Which would you eat first - a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate?
DR: It’s an easy one if we’re not talking about diet - chocolate, seven days a week!
What was the first word you said as a baby?
DR: Probably ‘Papa’ or ‘Mum’, or it was ‘I’m sick and I’m gonna be an F1 driver!’ (laughs)