“He’s God” - Ricciardo recalls battle with ‘intimidating' Schumacher

Daniel Ricciardo has picked out his duel with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher as one of his best drives in F1.
“He’s God” - Ricciardo recalls battle with ‘intimidating' Schumacher

During his first year as a full-time F1 driver with Toro Rosso in 2012, Ricciardo went head-to-head with Schumacher at the Japanese Grand Prix.

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Battling for the final point, Ricciardo kept Schumacher at bay. 

Reflecting on the battle with the Mercedes driver, Ricciardo admitted he was “intimidated” by the German.

“One left of field is Suzuka, 2012,” Ricciardo told Speedcafe.com. “I defended Schumacher in the last part of the race, and I won the last point in 10th.

“That was just more like… yes, I was still intimidated by him at that time; obviously I was like, he’s God.

“When he caught me, if there was live betting, I wouldn’t have bet on myself that I was going to keep him behind for the next 10 laps of whatever!

“The fact that I did that, and the level of comfort I felt defending him, I kind of surprised myself with my race craft.

“He’s God” - Ricciardo recalls battle with ‘intimidating' Schumacher

Ricciardo believes that battle with Schumacher a turning point, particularly after he was personally congratulated by him at the next race. 

“From that, I grew a lot of confidence,” Ricciardo added. “That was a very important race for me which is not talked about because I finished 10th.

“But personally, for me, it was really big. It was followed up by him congratulating me [at] the following race on the drivers’ parade, I remember he came up and said ‘good job last week defending’.

“That, for me, getting a bit of confirmation from someone like that, at that age, and that point in my career was huge.

“Maybe he didn’t realise at the time what he was doing to be, but he boosted my confidence a lot.”

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