Daniel Ricciardo #3

“Obviously, it’s a home week for the team, so the week is a little busier but it’s good; good to get to the factory, see the team, and see how everything’s progressing. We are always travelling around the world and don’t have much time to meet all the employees, so when we do, it’s nice to give a few hugs to the team, a bit of love, and share it around. We obviously get a lot of information about how things are going, but to go there and see it first-hand is always nice.

“It’s the first European race of the year. It’s a lot of familiarity to us, we get back to the Energy Station and the paddock just has that familiar environment again. There are some great tracks in Europe, so the first part of the season is fun, we do enjoy going back to some of these classics and I’m excited for the next kind of round of races to be mostly European-based, starting with Imola. The circuit is fun and challenging, really fast and quite narrow, really high-speed chicanes and a qualifying lap around there is so much fun. It’s really on the edge with some undulations in the chicane where you kind of really smash the kerbs, so it does create a tricky race, making qualifying important. Overtaking, although possible, is trickier around more of this kind of old school circuit. It can create a difficult environment when you’re trying to be aggressive and overtake around there, but this is a challenge that we all face and try to enjoy. All of us haven’t raced there for a couple of years now, so it’s going to be good. I really loved my first time there in 2020; it was just a really enjoyable circuit to drive and a really good experience so, I’m excited to go back.”

Editor’s note: Daniel finished the race on the podium in 2020 – P3.


Yuki Tsunoda #22

“Imola up next! I’m very excited and it’s one of the tracks I drove quite a lot in the past. It’s another home race, my second home race. Unfortunately, we couldn’t race there last year because of the flooding, so I’m very excited to race here and see the Emilia-Romagna fans cheering, especially after what happened not long ago. The flood had a massive impact, there was mud everywhere and there are people that have lost everything: their house with everything inside; their belongings and memories, photos. It’s pretty incredible how the whole city and whole region of Emilia-Romagna recovered right after, how people worked together to at least clear the roads so that you can travel around. It was impressive to see how the people were helping each other. People who were not affected just went around town with shovels and baskets asking if they could help people they didn’t even know. My house was not affected, but I couldn’t just stand still and look at the others helping, so I took the shovel and went to the city centre, which was massively affected, and started to clean the streets.

“The flood will always be remembered and how the town came back stronger. The region recovered much faster than I thought and is now looking ahead. Imola is back this year, 15 km away from my house. It’s weird as it’s exactly the same routine as how I always spend time in Faenza. It seems a normal day, having breakfast I make myself, with some yoghurt and fruits and my cappuccino from my coffee machine. I just have to travel 20 minutes and I’m at the track wearing my racing suit to jump in the car. In the evening, I go home and have a normal dinner. But it’s actually a race week. The track itself, I really like it. It’s very technical, lots of medium-high speed corners and high-speed chicanes so it’s a bit like Suzuka but slightly narrower. It’s always enjoyable to drive and I have a lot of good memories there. I’m excited to go back and see especially our VCARB grandstand filled with the people who work so hard back in the factory so I can drive a fast car. We’re finally able to drive in front of factory people alongside those who support us, and I hope the team can achieve a good result in front of them!“


Alan Permane (Racing Director)

“This weekend sees the start of the European season for Formula One and it’s a special race for Visa Cash App RB as the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola is only 15km from our base in Faenza. It’s very much our home race and we will have the pleasure of seeing a lot of our factory staff in the grandstands over the weekend. The circuit features very high-speed changes of direction, plenty of elevation change and some tricky kerbs to master. A compromise between a stiff car for the high speed and some compliance to ride the kerbs is required. Pirelli are bringing their softest tyres in the range which is one step softer than has been used here in the past. We will be looking to maximise mileage with both drivers on Friday to optimise qualifying and race performance.”