Daniel Ricciardo has revealed the extra female attention he has received in F1’s Drive to Survive era is not all good news, with fans often telling him that they have crushes on his rivals instead.
F1’s popularity has soared over recent years, with the success of the Drive to Survive docuseries – which first aired on Netflix since 2019 – widely credited for bringing the sport to a wider audience.
Three races in the United States are present on the 2023 calendar, with Las Vegas set to host its first grand prix since 1982 next weekend. Red Bull driver and newly crowned three-time World Champion Max Verstappen won the previous two US-based rounds of this season in Miami and Austin, Texas.
Daniel Ricciardo reveals pros and cons of F1’s Netflix effect
Appearing as a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show ahead of the Vegas round, Ricciardo explained that he has become more popular among the ladies as a result of Drive to Survive.
But the 34-year-old is often left bemused when female fans tell him that they have a crush on his competitors, joking that they request his feedback on their choices.
He said: “I find that they’re certainly not shy to say, ‘I have a crush on you’. Or they will let me know what driver they do have a crush on!”
Asked if the fans expect him to pass it on: “Pretty much! I think they want to know if that’s a good choice or not, so thumbs up or like: ‘Hmm, no.'”
Ricciardo admitted that he is recognised on a more regular basis now than in the pre-Netflix era, but remarked that American fans can struggle to separate fact from fiction.
He said: “It’s funny because a lot of the time now people will come up to me and say: ‘You were great in the show.’
“So my reaction is: do they know I race or do they think I’m an actor? I look at them like ‘thanks’ but I’m kinda second guessing: do they actually know what I do?
“It’s funny, but it’s really blown up. I try to remind them but I think it goes over their head.”
The Las Vegas GP received a promotion from an unexpected source this week as U2 singer Bono likening his bandmates to F1 drivers – and himself to Ricciardo – during a concert in the Nevada city.
Ricciardo described Bono’s interjection as “quite overwhelming” and admitted it is strange to be recognised by such famous faces.
“That was one of the greatest compliments ever. It’s funny,” he said.
“Definitely over the last few years, since the sport has blown up, there is some of those moments that I call little pinch-me moments.
“People may know me or recognise me that maybe I’m a fan of and I’m like: ‘Oh OK, I was meant to be fanboying you but anyway.'”