4 August 2011
Q&A - Daniel Ricciardo, HRT
Daniel Ricciardo looks back at his three races so far with HRT
What did you know about HRT before you joined the team?
Not much. I didn't really know any of the personnel, everybody was new to me. I spent last year with Red Bull and a bit of this year with Toro Rosso so I was quite enclosed with them and therefore didn't really know many other people in F1. Coming here was a new experience and my knowledge of the team was very limited.
How has the team welcomed you?
They were really nice and helpful. Silverstone wasn't going to be easy but they made it as easy as they could for me. There was no tension and they let me build into it, everybody was welcoming. I noticed that last year there were a few driver changes so I guess they were used to having a new driver in the car. They made it easy for me which was very nice.
Formula 1's first ever race took place at Silverstone in 1950. Your debut was at the legendary circuit, could your name be engraved in F1 history forever?
I would like it to be remembered; I would love to be World Champion one day and have my name on the list. That is the real dream. Although I am sure it is the dream for pretty much all the Formula 1 drivers. I think I am at a good age and very motivated to really have that as my long term goal. I think it was really special to have my first race at Silverstone, with all the history that surrounds it. Personally, I would have picked Australia as my first race but I have always said that if it wasn't there, then Silverstone would be the perfect place to make my debut.
What advice have Colin Kolles and Geoff Willis given you?
I have spoken with Colin a bit but haven't had the chance to spend too much time with Geoff yet. They have been pretty helpful, straightforward but also realistic on what is expected. For the first few races they have just let me build into it and not put too much pressure on me. They have said it will come. I've had some good results in junior categories and I guess they have faith in me that, sooner or later, I will be on the pace and where they expect me to be: getting some good results for the team.
They haven't put any real pressure on for now which I think is nice. But I also think the team expects some improvement now for the second half of the season. It is a good level of pressure, nothing I can't handle, but I also ask a lot of myself.
How would you describe your driving style and what are your first impressions of the F111?
I like high speed corners but with the F111 it is taking a little time to build up to that. Tonio has been quicker in the high speed sectors in the first few races. That is a part that normally I am strong at so I expect to get better. As for the rest, I am quite a smooth driver and not too erratic; I think I drive with quite a lot of finesse. I guess that is what has got me here. Now I have to find a little bit more and be different from the others and, hopefully, better than them.
Tonio Liuzzi achieved the team's best ever result in Canada. Will he be tough to beat?
I think the result in Canada was really good, Tonio has proved he is a very capable driver and I think he will be tough to beat. In Silverstone I was quite off his pace. I knew it would take a bit of time but you always want a bit more. But it was very clear to me that I have a strong teammate.
It is going to take my best efforts to really try and get in front of him and to push for a personal best result for the team. I don't think it is going to come through luck; it's just going to be hard work for now. I really have to soak in as much information as I can to try and become the driver I want to be and, hopefully, the one who maybe gets a personal best result for HRT one day.
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