Daniel Ricciardo has his gloves off as he prepares for the next triple-header of the 2020 Formula 1 season. First-up, Spa-Francorchamps where the Australian is targeting a return to the points.
What is there to say about the legendary Spa-Francorchamps?
Spa is so iconic. I think everyone knows why it’s a great place to race and one of the jewels in the Formula 1 crown. Nowadays, I actually get more of a thrill from racing there rather than in qualifying. We’ve done so many laps there in the high-downforce cars that a bit of that single-lap rush has gone. Eau Rouge is full throttle and in race trim with a big tank of fuel in someone’s slipstream, it becomes a real corner where you’re sliding on four wheels, which is pretty epic. There’s also Pouhon and Blanchimont, which are not that easy in race conditions. It’s a place where you can overtake, you can defend and it’s high-speed racing. It’s so intense and I really like it.
What is your record like there?
It’s been a good track for me in Formula 1: I’ve had podiums, a win, so it’s been a successful one in the past. Last year we were having a strong weekend, but then took some damage in Turn 1. The year before I also had damage at Turn 1. Really, if you can get out of Turn 1, you’re doing alright! It’s one of those first corner hairpins where it’s a recipe for chaos. This year it might be cleaner as we’re not coming off a break, we’re warmed up so hopefully it will be more straightforward.
How are you feeling with the triple-headers?
It’s strange actually as you’re the most race fit you’ve been because you’re in the car so much. In the car I feel as strong as I ever have. It’s the days off when you feel it. In between races, you feel flatter and more fatigued and there’s not a whole lot of training going on. It’s really resting and recovering. We’re driving so regularly our body is maintaining a lot of that race fitness.