Daniel Ricciardo had to battle with a rather considerable obstacle during his last race outing at Monaco: the Australian revealed that he had lost his voice for much of the race weekend!
In a sport where clear and accurate communication is everything, he and his engineer quickly devised a clever solution: the 22-year-old used buttons on his steering wheel to communicate with his team, which would show up on their telemetry traces.
“I suspect I didn’t take too well to the air conditioner on the plane [flight into Monaco],” he said.
“It left me feeling a bit frustrated and more than a little useless because this really isn’t the circuit where you want to have a problem communicating.
“In the end we figured out a series of signals through which I could communicate with my engineer during the race. Basically he’d do most of the talking and I’d answer by using some of the buttons on the steering wheel, which he would pick up on telemetry. It worked out okay but it wasn’t exactly ideal.”
Ricciardo would not see the chequered flag in the race, retiring with a mechanical issue in the closing laps.
“My voice is slowly returning and I should be fine for Canada,” he reassured his fans.
“[Canada] presents a very different challenge to Monaco,” he added, looking ahead to this weekend’s event at Montreal.
“We did a little bit of preparation for it while testing in Mugello, that should help us but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. As usual I’m optimistic we could be in for a good one – and hopefully it will really get our season into gear. Or this week it might really rain – and as we all saw last year, if it does anything can happen.”
Ricciardo certainly isn’t the first driver to suffer vocal problems in his Formula 1 career. One of the more famous cases was inflicted on Jarno Trulli, who spent much of his 2004 season almost completely mute after he developed a series of nodules on his vocal cords. The Italian eventually underwent surgery to remove them.
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