Straight from the horse’s mouth…Daniel Ricciardo explains unusual US Grand Prix entrance

Sam Cooper
Daniel Ricciardo smiling with his hat backwards. Austin, October 2022.

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo smiles after throwing an American football to team-mate Lando Norris. Austin, October 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo has explained his unusual entrance to the Circuit of The Americas paddock after he was spotted arriving on horseback.

Racing drivers are often used to a different kind of horsepower than the one Ricciardo had control of on media day for the United States Grand Prix.

The charismatic Australian, who is known to have a rather large soft spot for all things Texan, was kitted out in full cowboy gear complete with sideburns as he arrived at the track in Austin.

He was accompanied by a friend playing the guitar and said it was just an idea to “bring a little bit of extra atmosphere” to an otherwise quiet Thursday.

“That was my buddy, Rob Baird,” Ricciardo explained about the musician to Sky Sports F1. “I say he’s my buddy, I mean, he’s a musician, he’s not just a friend that can play. He’s a professional musician.

“We actually became really close friends and I love his music. So when we got the idea of coming on the horse I was like ‘Rob, I think you’d complete this’.

“[We thought] it will bring a little bit of extra atmosphere into the paddock. As we know, Thursdays are kind of quiet. So it was cool. Really nice to do it.

“I mean, I was a little embarrassed at first but I was like ‘you know what, just have some fun’.”

Although the horse may have been in possession of his own paddock pass, Ricciardo revealed there had been a case of identify fraud as the stated name of ‘Horsey McHorseface’ was not actually correct.

“People did ask ‘did you ride from town?’ But it’s a boy, Blue, he lives on a ranch about an hour away.

“That [Horsey McHorseface] is his nickname. We didn’t know Blue’s name at the time of getting the credentials, but I feel Horsey McHorseface might be where it stays.”

Ricciardo has only four more races of his two-year spell at McLaren remaining, having been dropped for 2023 in favour of his Australian compatriot Oscar Piastri.

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