Daniel Ricciardo gives unique explanation on altitude impact at Mexico City GP

Daniel Ricciardo was very competitive on Friday in Mexico City as he finished sixth in FP2

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Daniel Ricciardo has explained how being at altitude can feel like someone has put a pillow over your face when asleep as Formula 1 races at 2.2km above sea level at the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix.

The F1 circus is in the Mexican capital this weekend, one of the highest cities above sea level in the world. The thinner air can have an impact on drivers, as the body has to work harder with less oxygen to fuel it, but Ricciardo has explained how it’s more when out of the car that the drivers notice things.

“In the car, it doesn’t feel that different, maybe it is because we are sitting, and maybe the muscles we use don’t really spike the heart rate too much,” Ricciardo told the press in Mexico.

“I don’t know what it is, but I remember the races here not being that much more physical, but I definitely feel it when I sleep.

“Whenever I wake up in the morning, I just feel a little bit short of breath, as if someone has put a pillow over your face, so I’ll make sure I’ve locked my room properly!”

Ricciardo: Thin air noticed in the gym

Daniel Ricciardo of AlphaTauri ahead of 2023 US Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 returned to Mexico in 2015 and Ricciardo has competed in every race since that time. The Australian arguably had his best performance for McLaren in 2022 last year at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

He will be looking to try and challenge for points this weekend, following team-mate Yuki Tsunoda’s top ten finish last time out at the United States GP.

A typically unique explanation from the colourful Ricciardo, who also explained how doing physical activities like running in the gym would see a noticeable difference.

“In the gym, like if we get on the treadmill or anything like that, you feel it,” Ricciardo continued.

“As I said, in the car, it is not too bad. Like if we were coming here to run a marathon, we would definitely need to prepare differently, but it’s not too bad for us.”

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