Red Bull ace Daniel Ricciardo says Interlagos, which plays host to this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, “has grown on me over the years”.
The Australian’s record at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace is nothing to write home about, with a 10th-place finish while driving for Toro Rosso in 2013 his best result so far in Brazil.
Ricciardo also admits he initially felt slightly intimidated by the event and its surroundings.
“The lap is quite a short one but it’s definitely grown on me over the years,” Ricciardo said. “Sao Paulo was quite an overwhelming place when I first went there but I have now found a few little hot spots.
“As it is near the end of the season we usually do some big team dinners there which means it’s a really sociable race week. It’s up there as one of my top races due to the off track fun, let’s hope the on track action can match it.”
Ricciardo says the Interlagos fans have nothing to envy from the enthusiastic crowd witnessed in Mexico at the previous round, and gives an interesting glimpse into what it is like to partner a Brazilian driver at the Sao Paulo venue.
“The atmosphere at the track in Brazil is pretty unique, a lot of air horns and noise always make for a good crowd. Even more so this year as it is Felipe Massa’s last race there.
“Brazil is one place you don’t want to be Felipe’s team mate, you get so much abuse on the drivers parade its hilarious. I think [Valtteri] Bottas is going to be really in for it next week.”
Massa announced earlier this year that he would bow out of Formula One at the end of the current campaign.