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Ricciardo, the day after (the victory at Monza)
15 September 2021

[translated with Google]

After having surprisingly taken his first success for McLaren, more than three years after his last victory in Formula 1, Daniel Ricciardo is immediately back in the driving seat. Always with a steering wheel, an engine and four wheels available... Not of a car, however, but of a kart. Indeed, his kart!

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Daniel, after the race, immerses himself in a technical briefing which ends after 9pm on Sunday. The space for dinner and it's already time to go to sleep, just to be ready for the day in the kart. The excitement for the victory, however, is really too much and there is no mention of sleeping. Result? Three hours of sleep on Monday morning, which are not exactly ideal before getting on board a shifter kart, really demanding and physically tiring to drive.
Daniel does not have to travel many kilometers to satisfy his karting desire: together with a friend and a McLaren engineer he moves from the Monza racetrack to the Franciacorta Karting Track, where the Birel ART Racing team awaits him (Birel ART, in fact, is the company that produces the Ricciardo Kart chassis).
Everything is ready there: the chassis is the same one used on a previous day, so the seat, pedals and steering wheel are already adjusted to his size. Daniel therefore leaves for the first session on his TM Racing powered Ricciardo Kart and mounts a set of used MG yellow tyres, which come directly from the KZ World Championship held at the beginning of September in Sweden. The goal is to learn the circuit and at the same time do a few warm-up laps. The McLaren standard bearer is not left alone: ​​in fact, the official Birel ART driver and KZ world champion in 2019, Marijn Kremers, acts as his coach of excellence, as he takes to the track together with the Australian at the wheel of a Birel ART - TM Racing kart. Four laps to become familiar with both the track and the vehicle and then immediately a tyre change: a set of new LeCont tyres is mounted, which Daniel will use all day. Before lunch, the fresh winner of the Monza Grand Prix completes another two sessions of three laps each: fatigue is felt and the day is aimed at having fun, so there is no interest in making longer stints.

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In addition, Daniel begins to see on his body the first signs of driving a KZ: at the height of the hips, inserted in the fiberglass seat without padding, he begins to feel a little pain and bruises appear. The team manager and official Birel ART driver as well as fresh European KZ champion, Riccardo Longhi, intervenes promptly, resorting to an emergency remedy that is always effective, putting on the part of the body that hurts a layer of plastic that is used for packaging in such a way to cushion the stresses. The solution seems to work, so much so that in the afternoon the Australian has fun in the three sessions of the track that he does, totalling six/seven laps each time.
Enough to engage even a series of really tight laps together with Kremers, who is literally stamped on his bumper, “pushing” him and sometimes overtaking him to help him improve.
At the end of these three afternoon sessions, Daniel is really tired. The few hours of sleep and the tension that is lost after the incredible emotion experienced the previous day are clearly visible on the face of the Australian driver, who at about 3.00 pm decides to stop and conclude this parenthesis of pure fun with friends, to be able to then return to the next engagement as a F1 driver. After a day as a kart driver.


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