A day during the off-season for Daniel Ricciardo...
Formula 1 driver, Renault F1 Team

Describe a typical day in your off-season?
The break in F1 is the summer time back home in Australia, and for me it usually starts by setting no alarms. Once I am up, I try to head to the beach first thing where there are good coffee and food places. Being at the beach and in the sun really helps to kickstart your day the right way. Next, I’ll spend some time with family and friends and maybe go to the farm where I’ll drive some buggies, and eventually watch the sunset. Sometimes we’ll go out fishing as well which is always fun.

What do you enjoy the most about the break?
The weather! And, after such a busy year and with lots of travel, it’s great waking up and not having too many plans for the day.

What’s been your most memorable moment during an off-season?
I went fishing once with a group of friends at around 4.15am. It was pitch black outside, but it was so special being out on the water that early and waiting for the sun to come up.

What do you like the least about the break?
There isn’t too much to dislike about the break, but you do miss the lack of racing and contact with the team. The closer you get to the season start, the more excited you get.

One thing you’d love to do during the break that you haven’t done before – what would it be?
Surfing. I’ve only done it a few times and every summer I say to myself that I’ll do it again, but I never get around to it. I’m also scared of sharks, so that sometimes puts me off.

Do you focus on anything in particular for your training?
I haven’t focused on just one thing and because the break is quite long, there is enough time to make sure everything is done. Such as building up your cardio, overall strength and neck strength. We plan for most of the training to be outdoors, so the cardio is always fun - running along the beach in the sun and heat. Mountain biking is also fun and very accessible near my house in Australia.

Do you follow a special type of diet or nutrition plan in the pre-season?
During the break, I am conscious the more I let myself go then the more work I have to put in to get it all back. But I do try to be as relaxed as I can be about it. Once January starts, I try lower my intake of meat and increase vegetables in my diet.

Do you have any pre-season tips for junior drivers?
Overall, it’s about finding a balance, because you need to do a lot but also try not to peak too early in your training phase. My advice would be to start with low intensity and be patient. Neck training is also very important for racing drivers as that part of the body is used so much and it’s very fragile. In terms of cardio, it’s not about sprinting as fast as you can. You have to build a base and get those long runs or bike stints in first and foremost.