Ricciardo has gained a reputation for being one of the best overtakers on the grid, but this was not always the case. Upon joining Formula One with the Hispania team, the Australian was considered a 'soft touch', and Ricciardo made it his mission to change this perception.
“At first I felt other competitors would take advantage of me being the nice guy,” Ricciardo continued.
“Especially when I got into F1 it was like, ‘He’s too nice, we’re going to bully him on the track’ and I think they did for the first six months. I felt like that was going to be a reputation that was going to stay with me unless I quickly adapted.
“Then it was really 2014 when I felt everyone was still saying, ‘He’s got a fast car now but he’s still a soft touch’ and I could play to that and surprise them on track.
“That’s where these dummy overtakes, these lunges, I feel I really caught everyone by surprise and that was very powerful for me.
“I know what I’m capable of. Even know I’m smiling, but I’m quietly killing with a smile. It’s good.”
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