Ricciardo recalls the day he went from 'hero to zero' in F1

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Daniel Ricciardo holds an abundance of memories of his ten years in F1, but one particular moment endured early on in his career left its mark on the Aussie.

Ricciardo landed his first F1 drive in the summer of 2011 when he was recruited by minnow outfit HRT, thanks to the support of Red Bull.

The young hopeful's good performances with the small Spanish outfit warranted a move to Toro Rosso in 2012 where the broad-smiling rookie impressed at the outset when he qualified 6th in Bahrain in his fourth race with the junior bull squad.

"At that point, the Toro Rosso was hardly a top-ten car let alone a top-six," Ricciardo recalled on The Howie Games podcast.

"If anyone didn't know my name, by then they did.

"But then it was like there was even more weight on my shoulders because, alright, you've proven you can drive, but now can you run at the front with these big boys.

"Alonso was lining up I think in a Ferrari alongside me and all this sort of stuff, I was like 'oh boy, just don't mess up'."

But things didn't go according to plan for the young hopeful when the lights went out at Sakhir.

"On my first lap I went from 6th to 15th place, or something, and I just got absolutely bullied and ambushed!

"So I went from hero to zero very quickly, and it took me a little while to recover from that one."

Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull Racing two years later and clinched his maiden Grand Prix win in his seventh race with the team, in Canada.

But elation and jubilance weren't the only feelings he felt on the podium that memorable day in Montreal in 2014.

"There's happiness, there's excitement, there is all of those feelings but one of the big ones which will probably surprise a lot of people is relief," he remembered.

"And I say relief because, especially at that stage of my career, I did believe I could do it.

"I believed in myself, I believed I had the talent and the mentality to hold my own. But until you do it, you just never know. You can believe forever but until you tick a box you never know.

"I got the lead I think with three laps to go and I had a moment of, 'oh shit, are my hands still gonna work, are my feet still gonna work, and are my fingers still going to be able to pull the gear, or am I just gonna freeze'.

"That was a legitimate thought that ran through my head.

"Fortunately everything still functioned, and then I was like 'alright, I do belong here'.

"So, crossing the line was a bit of relief, that kind of everything that I believed was truthful."

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