After a long winter, at long last the 2018 Formula 1 world championship is kicking off this weekend. Everyone’s favorite Australian driver, Daniel Ricciardo, is on hand to give us a preview of the season opener by guiding us around the Melbourne Grand Prix.
As an Aussie, Albert Park is Ricciardo’s home track, so he’s the best candidate to walk us through what a lap of the circuit looks like. Since we’ll all have to wait until Friday, March 23 to see the actual race cars on the track, FORMULA 1 has put up a virtual lap with Ricciardo behind the wheel of his new RB14.
Albert Park doesn’t look like it’s a difficult course, especially when you compare it to the likes of the Singapore Grand Prix. But as Ricciardo points out, the track can be tricky to get right. The straights, for instance, aren’t really straight, except for the start-finish one. All the rest have a kink, which makes finding a braking point difficult.
Another interesting thing about Albert Park is its curbs. Ricciardo walks us through which one drivers can take aggressively and which they don’t. While the curbs aren’t exactly tire-killing ones, they can unsettle the car, costing drivers precious time or making them lose control.
In addition to giving us the same view as a driver out on the track, the video also switches between footage of the steering wheel and pedal box. It’s a nice touch, but it’s not really exciting to see as Ricciardo’s not looking to set down a qualifying lap but just trying to be informative.
At the end of last year, Ricciardo claimed that he thought Red Bull could challenge the top runners for a title in the 2018 season. If it can indeed challenge Mercedes and Ferrari, we could be in for an exciting championship.