Published: Fri, March 24, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Formula One 2017: Daniel Ricciardo determined to battle for crown

Formula One 2017: Daniel Ricciardo determined to battle for crown

"There is no racing achievement [that will get me to do a shoey], that is disgusting", Hamilton said, as quoted by ESPN.

Since replacing compatriot Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2014 after two years with Toro Rosso, the affable 27-year-old's popularity has soared in his home country and his "shoey" celebration - drinking champagne from his race boot on the podium - has been adopted enthusiastically by local athletes.

In a year of dramatic change, watch Sky F1's 2017 season opener ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull's need for Ricciardo and Verstappen to put personal ambition aside and focus on improving the RB13 is expected to be particularly acute at the start of the new season. "It's not a weight on my shoulders", Ricciardo said at the official media conference on Thursday.

"Last year I didn't win the title but I was still very happy with the year".

"So it's demanding, it is a tiring week, but it's pretty cool to see so many people supportive of me and the event.it's pretty much just a bit if extra motivation for me".

"Personally, I don't think we can fight for the win at the moment". But it's all positive support, it's kind of overwhelming actually.

"When I got to Red Bull, everyone thought I am happy and nice guy". I try to enjoy it as well. I appreciate it won't last for ever. Both completed only 19 laps, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner admitting that saving engine mileage was already a priority, even in the opening race of the season.

But Ricciardo, the Red Bull driver with the neon smile who finished third in last year's world championship, said he isn't burdened by national expectations.

The other race was won by Verstappen, the teenage wunderkind expected to make life increasingly hard for Ricciardo on the track as he matures.

"We haven't quite been the fastest in testing so I would say we're not the quickest as we stand here today".

Despite the excited attention he attracted past year with his fearless driving, Verstappen was overshadowed by Ricciardo in the media scrum that followed their river race. He's no longer a rookie any more.

"We wanted to see whether the suspension is generally suspension or if it is there predominantly for the aerodynamic performance of the auto. Hopefully it's hyped up by the fact that we're fighting at the front, that's what we both want".

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