'A very special weekend': F1 star Daniel Ricciardo meets young racers at Northamptonshire circuit

Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo took time out of his preparation for the British Grand Prix by meeting the young drivers competing in his series at a Northamptonshire circuit.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 4:27 pm
Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo with two young racers at Whilton Mill karting track near Daventry. Photo: James Fitchew Photography

Whilton Mill racing track near Whilton, Daventry, hosted round four of the new Daniel Ricciardo Series on Saturday and Sunday (July 6 and 7).

The Renault Sport Formula One Team driver came to support the youngsters competing in his championship, which he set up to be as fair as possible.

Track general manager Graeme Smith said: "The current F1 grid is made up of drivers who came from karting so it’s great to see a high-profile driver such as Daniel giving back to the sport.

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Daniel Ricciardo at Whilton Mill. Photo: James Fitchew Photography

"It was even better to see Daniel attending his own race series in person. The drivers and the parents appreciated having him at the circuit.

"He was available to talk to the young drivers about their championship and future plans whilst signing autographs.

"It really made the weekend very special for everyone who came.

To race in the series, drivers aged seven and over must own a DRS Ricciardo kart suitable for their age range.

Daniel Ricciardo at Whilton Mill. Photo: James Fitchew Photography

Daniel said everyone on the track having the same kart takes the stress out of competitors worrying about other drivers having better parts because they have more money - although the age seven to 13 kart is £2,850.

"Getting involved in the DRS series was a way to get kids a chance to get into the sport, even just to try, see if they like it, see what they think of it, to make it more accessible," he told Alpha Live, which was live-streaming the event on YouTube.

"That's the difficult thing because growing up, I was the only kid in my school who did go-karting because it was so hard to get in to and not many people knew about.

"But I knew if kids would actually try it and have a chance to do it, numbers would grow dramatically because it's an amazing sport, it's amazing fun, what kids doesn't want to go and drive fast at such a young age?"

Daniel Ricciardo at Whilton Mill. Photo: James Fitchew Photography