Ricciardo credits Netflix for surge in US F1 popularity

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has credited the Netflix series Drive to Survive with boosting the popularity of Formula 1 in the United States.

Ricciardo was a guest on the The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and recounted how prior to the series’ release last February that few people recognised him in the States.

“I definitely feel F1 is becoming much more of a thing here in the States. Drive to Survive put it on the map,” Ricciardo said.

“I spend a bit of time in the States, and up until a year ago, not really anyone would say hi to me – not in a bad way, but they wouldn’t recognise me for being an F1 driver.

“And now it’s all ‘we saw you on Netflix, it was great, Drive to Survive‘.”

A popular figure featured in the opening season of the docu-series, the Australian stated that his jovial nature is the result of not only doing his dream job, but his upbringing in Perth.

“I think those others there are a little bit (serious), they don’t help the sport,” he said.

“I think for me, growing up in Australia, in sunshine, live close to the beach. I don’t know, it turns your personality into a bit of happiness.

“I’m doing my dream job,” he added.

“You have to be reminded sometimes, you get so competitive, sometimes so caught up in it that you do forget, a little bit of perspective.

“It is my dream job, I travel the world to drive cars in circles, which is pretty awesome.”

Ricciardo will this year enter his second year with Renault, the final of his current two-year deal.

The team last year fell to fifth in the constructors’ championship after McLaren leapfrogged it in the standings.

For the coming campaign, regulations are set to remain largely stable ahead of a broader change for 2021.

“Unfortunately it’s not like tennis, you can only blame the racquet so much,” he said when asked about his decision to join Renault and the difficulty in finding success in F1.

“There is a lot of equipment, it is very equipment dependent.

“That is the sport, then your job is to try and put yourself in the best team to get you the best equipment.

“It’s like a technology battle with the manufactures.

“It’s crazy but to get on the grid, there’s just 20 drivers, that’s an achievement in itself but you obviously want to be the best and get yourself at the top.”

Renault is set to launch its 2020 F1 car on February 12, a week before the opening pre-season test at Barcelona begins on February 19.

The second season of Drive to Survive premieres later this month.

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