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’.
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“[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.