This week the new and improved Formula 1 machines will take to the track for the first time in 2017 at Albert Park in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.

The fan favourite is undoubtedly Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who will be lining up on the grid for his seventh consecutive season. Like all Australians, he too is hoping to secure his maiden home-race victory which would make his the first local to win the Australian Grand Prix since compatriot Alan Jones in 1980’s non-championship event.

Speaking at a media event hosted by Red Bull Racing official partner PUMA, Ricciardo talked about how he is prepared for the race and is a believer in making his own fortune; working hard to keep persisting and performing at his best to turn it around and secure crucial race victories.

It’s hard not to like Daniel Ricciardo; watching him engage with fans at the PUMA activation space at Melbourne Central it’s obvious he genuinely enjoys and appreciates the interaction and support.

However don’t be fooled by the ever present ear-to-ear smile and the relaxed attitude of this affable Australian; once the race helmet goes on the Honey Badger means business as he transforms into an unrelenting racer, disciplined and determined to win.

This year heralds a new era for Formula 1 with extreme regulation changes resulting in heavier, wider and faster cars. These new beasts will be harder than ever to drive and will most certainly separate the men from the boys.

Although 2016 World Champions Mercedes are still considered the favourites for his season, Ricciardo hopes they won’t win as many races and believes both Red Bull and Ferrari showed promise during last month’s testing.

He is careful to say you can’t really gauge the true measure of cars from testing and that we will have to wait until this weekend the get an indication of their speed and capabilities.

But Ricciardo is going into the new season with a positive attitude and belief in the team and crew that he has behind him. And with two years left on his current Red Bull contract, he stated the plan is to win at least one world title during that time.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.