Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is encouraged by the next generation of Australian racing drivers who dream of making it to Formula 1.
The West Australian driver kept an eye on some of the Australian Formula 4 results in 2015, and provided some advice for the 2015 graduates and its inaugural champion Jordan Lloyd.
“For Jordan [Lloyd], for example, when I went to Europe I didn’t really have a championship to take with me. I was sort of, I would say, a step below where Jordan probably is right now,” Ricciardo said.
“Take some of that confidence with you, but still remain grounded, humble, there’s still a lot to learn I’m sure. I’m learning all the time! I know as a younger driver there’s a lot to learn.”
Having climbed the ranks via the Red Bull driver development program himself, Ricciardo was pleased to learn Australian Formula 4 driver Luis Leeds graduating to the same pathway.
“That was really cool news as well when I heard it. He’s only 15, so… (laughs) I didn’t know what I wanted to do at 15 so he’s obviously a few steps ahead of me which is cool,” Ricciardo said.
“Sure there’s a lot of pressure, and the guys will put a lot of emphasis on your results and everything, but there’s a lot to learn in the fitness side, the media side, there’s so many little bits and pieces they put towards to making the program work.
“And then yeah enjoy it, have fun, race hard and don’t let Dr. [Helmut] Marko give you too much of a hard time!
With the likes of Mark Webber and Ricciardo paving the way for Australians competing successfully in Formula 1, Ricciardo also believes there’s never been a better time to be an Australian racer with Formula 1 aspirations.
“It’s nice that a few of us have had the success over in Europe and it makes it all seem a lot more realistic,” Ricciardo said.
“It’s not just a dream anymore, it’s a reality and it can happen. It’s cool to see that there’s more Aussie names coming through. I know there’s a lot of Aussie talent here. That’s for sure.
“I’m sure as years go by the talent’s just going to keep getting more and more. I would be very surprised if at least one didn’t come through in the next period.”