Daniel Ricciardo admits he is not the most technically savvy Formula 1 driver – and is just fine with that.
The Australian takes something of a “carefree attitude” to the engineering side of the sport – like most things in life, it appears – while not minding who knows it, either.
Mind you, it has not hindered the 32-year-old too much because he has won eight F1 races and remained an integral part of the grid since making his debut in 2011.
“It’s funny because my mates will say ‘dude, you’re driving these multi-million dollar cars with the most technology, the most advanced machinery, pretty much, in the world and yet you might know how to change a spark plug, you might know how to take off your tyre…but I like that’,” said Ricciardo on the Gypsy Tales podcast.
“I like not really knowing a whole lot. I like investing more of my energy into the driving and I like just being a little bit blase about it all.
“It makes me approach it with a bit more of a carefree attitude and I think that helps me drive better, perform better and take the pressure off it.”
However, that lack of in-depth technical knowhow does not prevent Ricciardo from providing his team – currently McLaren with whom he is entering a second season – with the feedback required to try and make his car faster.
“Where I’m good with my driving? Feedback,” said Ricciardo. “I think I’m really good at feeling what the car does and relaying that back to the team. So that’s probably as technically sound as I get, but otherwise I’m not really one [for that].”
Ricciardo also said he never felt like he was on a natural path to Formula 1 from when he started racing at a young age.
“It was hard coming from Australia, getting into F1 and that world. I’m sure there are many parts around the world which are pretty disconnected from it and Perth is certainly one of those,” said the former Red Bull and Renault driver.
“F1 was on a pedestal, I was in awe of it. And a few years later, I’m there. Michael Schumacher is on the grid and these guys I’ve literally idolised as a kid. I was like ‘how did I get here?’.
“Some people from six years old, they probably have this crazy talent and maybe they have an idea they will make it.
“I was obviously good but I wasn’t dominating, and there were no real signs or early signs to tell me I would make it.”
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