F1: Ricciardo explains helmet design for new season
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Daniel Ricciardo has opened up about his experiences driving against Michael Schumacher, saying that he still gets “goosebumps” when he thinks about those times. Ricciardo spent 18 months on the grid at the same time as the seven-time world champion, before Schumacher’s eventual retirement in 2012.
The Australian entered the paddock ten years ago in 2011, driving for half a season with HRT before joining Red Bull’s junior team, then named Toro Rosso. Schumacher was then in his twilight years in the sport, racing for Mercedes.
Ricciardo, who now races for McLaren, remembers feeling a sense of reverence when he came across the racing legend for the first time and has good memories of competing against him on the track.
The 32-year-old said to Sport Bild: “To know I was once in the same field of drivers as Michael Schumacher in Formula 1 is amazing for me.
“I remember one of my first races at Suzuka, I had a short duel with him. It was like a game of cat and mouse on the track.
“That was really unreal. I enjoyed every second.
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“Michael had already won seven world titles. He is the god of this sport.
“After the race, my father took me aside for a moment, talking about the duel. He said ‘do you have any idea what just happened?’ I had to let that sink in first.
“When I’m older, I’ll think back to moments like that. My god, now that I tell it I just get goosebumps again.”
Ricciardo is one the few drivers still in F1 that has now raced not only against the legendary Schumacher but also his eldest son, Mick.
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Mick began his F1 journey this season with Haas, and while he has been involved in a few race incidents, the 22-year-old has shown considerable promise.
Ricciardo was keen to express his belief that Mick has the talent to become a real force in the sport, as well as saying that he is a very good person.
He said: “I met Mick in 2016 at his charity soccer game. Somehow I immediately had the feeling I just wanted to be nice to him.
“He should feel my deep respect, his father is such a legend. So there was a good chemistry between us right from the start because he’s a really nice boy too.
“Nobody should think Mick is in Formula 1 just because of his name. Everything I see of him shows me he deserves his place here with us. He works so hard and I’m impressed with the way he has done.”
Michael Schumacher’s health after a skiing accident has remained extremely private at the request of his wife and children.
A Netflix documentary detailing his legendary career and some new insight into his private life is set to be released next month.
F1 returns on August 27 for the Belgian Grand Prix weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
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