The 2017 season gets underway with Daniel Ricciardo's home race, the Australian GP, with the Aussie looking for a reason to celebrate along with team-mate Max Verstappen.
Daniel Ricciardo: “It’s always good to be back on home soil and enjoy a bit of sunshine after winter testing. My home race is awesome in so many ways but it’s also super busy and full on, the week for me starts on Monday and doesn’t stop until Sunday night. It’s nice that there’s so much media attention at the start of the season and everyone is super excited to see how I go. I try and attend as many events as I can but I’m still there to do a job.
“We get a pretty big greeting from everyone when we arrive at track each morning, the fans are so enthusiastic!
“This year they have named a grandstand after me, the Ricciardo Premium Grandstand with views of turns three, four and five, which is pretty cool. It’s another bit of motivation for me to do well and I will of course give the fans a wave. It’s great to have such positive support and I’ve heard the tickets sold out pretty quickly for the stand.
"I will definitely embrace the weekend, have some fun with it and try and give the fans a reason to celebrate on Sunday.”
Max Verstappen: “We always arrive in Australia a bit early due to the time difference, this way we have a bit longer to acclimatise. The first two or three days you struggle with jetlag a bit but then it's fine because you are just really excited for the first race of the year.
“I enjoy going to Melbourne as it’s a cool city, nice environment and good weather so generally a great place to stay. I found some nice restaurants down by the Yarra River so whenever we have time I will head down there for some dinner.
“The first race is always exciting as you never really know where you are in terms of performance with the car because everything is so new, this is reflected in the paddock too, it’s a refreshing feeling.
“Being Daniel’s home grand prix he obviously gets a lot of support which is very nice for him. I can’t wait to feel the buzz of all the cars going out for the first practice and seeing the excitement on everyone’s face.”