Daniel Ricciardo makes no secret of liking the Monaco Grand Prix circuit - so much so that he has joined the F1 fraternity already residing in the Principality.

Unbeaten on his two Renault World Series appearances there, the Australian had to endure two F1 DNFs before finally getting a result in Monaco, but took third place last season behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, making that already famous grin a lot wider.

"From the driver's point of view - and maybe the teams see it differently - the best thing about coming to Monaco is that it's a circuit where the driver has more influence on events," he explained, "Driving an F1 car anywhere is special - the speed, the power and the acceleration just blows you away - but here it's like trying to do a lap in a supermarket, and that's just so, so cool.

"I know there's that quote about racing at Monaco being like riding a bicycle around your bathroom - well, when I was a kid I used to love riding my little bike around inside the house. It was more fun, there were more obstacles and a bit more danger. That really is what this is like...

"You have the walls around the circuit and the bumps on the track that make it a bit more real. The circuit has a lot of character; you can feel that in the car. You can't afford mistakes, your concentration levels rocket and you tend to amaze yourself with how quickly you manage to do everything. Just completing a lap feels like an achievement. It feels like a challenge."

It isn't just the track that grabs the attention in Monaco at grand prix time, however, with the nearby Cannes Film Festival adding an extra touch of glamour to the paddock. Being a laid-back Aussie, even one that now resides in the Principality, that wouldn't normally mean much to Ricciardo, but he admits to being caught up in the vibe.

"The Monaco Grand Prix is the real deal," he insists, "There's so much energy surrounding it: the big boats; the big spenders; the cool people, the Hollywoods - it's all there. I wouldn't say I'm massively into that stuff at any other time of the year, but it creates a crazy atmosphere over the weekend and that really makes the adrenaline rocket."



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