Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World Sport
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World  | Surf Report  | Predictions XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Back to the top step: Daniel Ricciardo’s love for UFC helps him with race approach

EXCLUSIVE: “You’re basically trying to kill me, and I’m trying to kill you,” Daniel Ricciardo says, his eyes glowing with his trademark enthusiasm.


Michael Lamonato

Friday 21 October 2016, 03:53PM


Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Oct 2. Photo: Jiji/AFP
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Oct 2. Photo: Jiji/AFP

Sitting inside the Red Bull Racing suite at the Japanese Grand Prix, the Australian driver’s interview with The Phuket News has taken an unexpected turn.

“I love UFC – it’s the most pure form of sport because it’s man against man,” he clarifies.

Ricciardo’s love for the Ultimate Fighting Championship is one of his better-known extra-racing interests, but this isn’t some self-indulgent detour on his part; his passion for the mixed martial arts tournament is a quite key to his racing approach.

“I probably learn as much about [psychology] from watching other sports as I do from anywhere else.

“There’s no equipment, there’s no technology involved; it’s just purely physical and mental.”

The mental game has been increasingly important for one of the sport’s hottest properties.

His Red Bull Racing debut promised much and delivered three unlikely wins, but a poor car in 2015 smashed his and the team’s momentum.

Matters improved in 2016, but victory has proved painfully elusive.

In Spain Daniel was accidentally dealt a slower strategy that enabled new teammate Max Verstappen to claim his maiden win.

In the blue-riband Monaco Grand Prix the team botched a crucial pit stop from the lead to hand Lewis Hamilton an easy 25 points.

For the first time the 27-year-old’s ordinarily smile-painted face was filled with stress and frustration.

“The dark side?” he says, casting his mind back. “Most times I’ve got a helmet on, so you can’t really see it, but, some things can upset me and piss me off.

“Monaco was pretty unique in the circumstances. I think it was probably as well that it had been so long since I had won … I felt like, ‘Okay, I’ve done everything I can, it should have come already’.”

Succumbing to meltdown isn’t an unusual racing driver response – Lewis Hamilton’s recalcitrance with his Mercedes team since his engine caught fire in Malaysia being one example – but when other drivers wrap themselves up in the moment, Ricciardo refused to let himself be claimed by his dark side.

“It’s perspective,” he recalled. “I went back, I looked at the whole weekend, and up until the pit stop it was the best race weekend of my career.

“Everything was pretty much perfect – okay, there was a crucial moment, but I actually had to leave the weekend happy because it was awesome.

“I think that’s the easiest way to move on.”

Critical to his recovery has been casting from his mind the pressure of comparing his results to those of his more decorated rivals – both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were world champions at 23 years old – to grow his capacity for self-evaluation.

“I think I’m more now taking [races] as I get there,” he said. “It’s just rock up, see how it goes and do what you can.

“Last year I learnt that. It was a good thing because I was able to leave the track happy with a seventh place because that’s all we could do that weekend.

“If seventh was the best, if I was getting seventh, then I was like, ‘Weather the storm while you can, get what you can out of it, and eventually when you win again it’ll be even sweeter’.”

The clouds finally parted in Malaysia, where Ricciardo was finally able to reclaim the top stop, the team harassed Hamilton’s leading Mercedes car to the point of engine failure.

It was a critical win on the eve of a tipped Red Bull Racing’s championship tilt in 2017 under new chassis-friendly regulation changes.

If the likely becomes reality, the culmination of the last 24 months will be key to the Australian’s battle for supremacy against his feisty teenage teammate.

“It’s a bit like how I’ll approach a race weekend – I’ll come here and not really expect too much, I’ll just drive and see what happens!” he says simply. “I’ll deal with it if it comes or when it comes.

“Naturally the stakes rise, but it doesn’t necessarily mean what happens off the track has to change.

“I think what we’re doing right now is pretty good … so if we did and we’re winning races while doing it, I guess we’re probably maybe even happier. We’ll see!”

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Man survives Ninja crash in Phuket

The problems are not the bikes or the roads. its the fact there is no rules or laws that are enforced on Phukets roads. This leads to having thousands...(Read More)


Man, 20, dies as sports bike slams head-on into pickup at high speed

It looks like the pickup truck, after pulling out from the side of the road did cross the 2 yellow lines and got herself in a ghost rider position. I...(Read More)


Man, 20, dies as sports bike slams head-on into pickup at high speed

My, my - that pickup do look like it's on the wrong side of that there double-yellow, don't it?...(Read More)


Man, 20, dies as sports bike slams head-on into pickup at high speed

Unfortunately "motorcycle blindness" is a phenomenon the world over, and was really only recognized in the U.K. after a massive government c...(Read More)


Man, 20, dies as sports bike slams head-on into pickup at high speed

Same old story. Crazy speed on the bike and not giving an f driving by the pick up. This is 1,000 an hour story in Phuket. its a miricle that there ar...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The world is watching us

No doubt Thailand and Phuket in particular has come a long way in the past 20 years. Having seen the coral reefs demolished by tourism in my home st...(Read More)


Police confirm Bangkok military hospital blast was a bomb, more than 20 injured

The bomb did content a lot of spikes. It was not a 'small' bomb. The 'downgrading' talks are strange. Guess, same as the bomb happen...(Read More)


Ex-inmate used son, 12, as drugs mule

Sounds a bit like the thai mama's who send their daughters and son's to Patong, Pattaya and Bkk to 'work' in the bars....(Read More)


French expat loses control of pick up in Kata injuring five

Another foreign idiot driver - lucky he didn't kill anyone! Must be quite difficult to have a crash these days in phuket without hitting a taxi st...(Read More)


Fifteen arrested at Phuket cockfight

Again, having a little flutter is the crime, not the brutal blood sport in which innocent creatures are forced to fight to the death. What a country....(Read More)

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.