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The First Time - with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo

08 Aug 2014

First front-row start - Australia; first podium - Spain; and first win - Canada. The ‘firsts’ are coming thick and fast for Daniel Ricciardo this season, following his promotion from Toro Rosso to Red Bull for 2014.

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)