Formula 1 cars are built to do one thing. That task is to go very fast around a tarmac circuit, to the exclusion of all else. Thus, it's always a laugh to see one of these thoroughbred racecars hooning about an unfamiliar environment, and even moreso with Daniel Ricciardo behind the wheel.
Ahead of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull decided to shoot a video of a Great Aussie Road Trip. Ricciardo got the guernsey for this job, as part of his "third driver" role at the team. Given the video takes place Down Under, Ricciardo was the obvious choice, especially given the adventure ostensibly kicks off at his own homestead in WA. He's behind the wheel of the RB7 F1 car, as driven to dual championship victory by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber back in 2011. The RB7 is a bit of a workhorse, regularly handling demo duties for the team.
The narrative premise of the film is that Ricciardo is helping the team prepare for the Australian Grand Prix. If you're new to F1, just know that there's no performance insight to be gained by drifting a decade-old F1 car around a farm. It is, however, quite good fun to watch, and that's the real value here.
As with any good promo video, we're treated to a series of visually-appealing stunts. We get to see motorcycle racer Daniel Sandres jumping his bike over the F1 car, and Ricciardo fleeing from a chasing chopper in a cloud of bull dust. Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall also makes an appearance in a close fly-by over the picturesque Seacliff bridge.
Other stars include motorcycle Dakar winner Toby Price, who jumps behind the wheel of a trophy truck to tangle with Ricciardo. The Honey Badger then joins three-time Supercars championship winner Shane Van Gisbergen for a lap around Mount Panorama. Or, you'd think it was Ricciardo, but that's a trick of the edit. Liam Lawson was actually behind the wheel for those shots, as per video released earlier by Red Bull. Sadly, we don't get to see the RB7 pushed to its limits at Bathurst, so there's no new lap record around the Mountain. A pity, but it's still great footage nonetheless.
Red Bull isn't shy about having fun with its demo cars, and we're all better off for it. Here's hoping they build an RB7 dune buggy next to tackle the Baja 1000.
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