There was no escaping what the media wanted to talk about when Daniel made his first open media appearance in Malaysia. Questions over whether he was angry with the FIA’s decision to exclude him from his home grand prix was high on the list, but from Daniel’s entrance – performing a beatbox rap on his microphone – those questions already appeared to have been answered. While the rest of Australia was up-in-arms after being denied of an Australian podium, Daniel himself was a picture of serenity, as he explained himself today in Sepang.
“With cameras in my face on the Monday I couldn’t really escape it for 24 hours” said Daniel. “But after that I got home and spent some time with friends and family and wasn’t thinking about it too much. In any case I definitely took more positives out of the weekend than that one negative. I try and stay relaxed and laid back about it all because the situation in Melbourne was really out of my control. I did what I felt was the best I could and all the controversy afterwards was not really my fight to be involved in. I wasn’t smiling at the time but I wasn’t breaking anything or having a rage blackout as I sometimes call them.”
“I was proud of the job I did. This weekend I’m just going to hop in the car and drive”, laughed Ricciardo. “It’s not worth getting to involved or thinking about in general as a driver. I think if I get too involved my head would probably explode with information overload. There’s a lot of variables in this sport. I would’ve much preferred getting a 2nd on track and have it taken away than having a poor start and running around in 8th or even 10th and having a bit of a nothing race. In that respect I was happy with the day’s work. I probably gained a few fans. I understand that for an Australian fan they’d waited so many years to see an Aussie on the podium it was like someone had taken it away from them. It was like ‘aww c’mon we’ve waited this long and you’ve taken it away from us?”
It’s a remarkable sense of perspective in a sport that tends to micro-analyse even the smallest pieces of information – both from a team and media standpoint. But once again it’s a trait that has always been there. As the media left Red Bull’s hospitality, Daniel once again broke into a beat-box session over the microphone.
“Don’t give up your day job Daniel” yelled one journo over his shoulder.
One hopes he doesn’t. He’s doing far too good a job during the day at the moment.
Images courtesy of Red Bull Racing