Formula One’s ‘honey badger’ Daniel Ricciardo is going ‘lone wolf’ on his fitness now that his former physio is working on the other side of the AlphaTauri garage with team mate Yuki Tsunoda.
The Australian’s previous performance coach Michael Italiano teamed up with the Japanese driver at the end of last season after Ricciardo left McLaren and was facing a year on the sidelines.
Ricciardo is now making his race return at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix as replacement for departed Dutch rookie Nyck de Vries at the Red Bull-owned team for the remaining 12 races of the season.
“So I’m lone wolf,” the Australian, who has long had the nickname ‘honey badger’, told reporters on Thursday when asked whether he would be sharing Italiano’s services with Tsunoda.
“I’ve got Pyry (Salmela) helping me out...Pyry is going to just help out on race weekends just to kind of make the flow of the weekend go a little smoother.”
Salmela previously worked with Pierre Gasly, now at Alpine, and then de Vries at AlphaTauri.
“I always said if I come back to the sport, I want to do things a little differently. I also wanted to find that self-motivation...I wanted it to come from me,” added the 34-year-old Australian.
“The training, all of it, the mindset, I wanted to get back into the sport because it’s truly coming from me and what my heart desires.
“So I’ve been doing it myself this year and I’ve got the answers I wanted.”
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