Singapore Grand Prix is almost here & everybody will see the nation transform into party capital of the world but Australian ace Daniel Ricciardo will join in in the festivities next weekend only on one condition.
Known as one of the toughest and most physical challenging tracks – because of its length, night-time circuit, overbearing humidity, and narrow and twisty streets like Monaco – it often leaves the Ricciardo, 28, too “knackered” to hit the VIP-filled after-parties, that this year will include the likes of Calvin Harris, Ariana Grande, Seal and Duran Duran.
Last year, the 28-year-old Australian finished less than half a second behind the winner, Nico Rosberg, despite his Renault-powered Red Bull being noticeably down on power compared with Rosberg’s Mercedes.
But the Perth-born Red Bull driver, known for his celebratory shoeys and love for “being one of the boys”, could be persuaded … if his mates show up.
“I’ve dabbled [in the Singapore nightlife] a little bit in the past, [but this year] it kind of depends if I’ve got mates there,” he told Fairfax Media.
“I had mates there a few years ago and we did the Amber Lounge thing [VIP after-party] on the Sunday night and they were just spinning out. As a driver you go there and they look after you … We were brought a selection of bottles and they didn’t have to pay a cent, so they were just loving it. It was pretty funny.
“But otherwise, it’s such a physical race that by the end of it, once you get back to the hotel and the adrenaline wears off, you’re knackered. I don’t think I’ve been out after that race since 2014.”
After storming to fourth in Italy last week, Ricciardo, who has had some luck over the years in Singapore taking to the podium three years in row and coming second last year to Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, is gunning for a win this time around.
You need to be highly prepared when you travel to Asia from European season & that’s what Daniel had to say about his preparation for Singapore GP, “The preparation leading up to Singapore is pretty crucial, because you’ve got that, and then you’ve got Malaysia. The main thing is the heat.”
“Hopefully I get my first win there. I’ve been knocking on the door for a few years and we’ll have a few more updates as well. If they work as they should, then it should put us in a good position,” he said.
“The aim is to be better-prepared than everyone and I believe I am, but it’s certainly one that if a driver doesn’t quite take some of those real physical ones seriously, if they’re out enjoying their weekends more than they should, then I definitely feel it will show this year.”
If he’s right, the shoe will be straight off again.
“If I win and I feel the crowd is behind it, then I’ll do it,” he said.
“If doing many shoeys [drinking champagne out of his boot], means I’m winning many races then I’m more than happy to drink – as Lewis [Hamilton] said – my ‘foot juice’. I’m happy with that.”