Daniel Ricciardo has been the adopted son of Texas since the Formula One circuit first started racing in Austin. The McLaren Formula One driver has fully adopted everything about Texas, from the music to the food to the accent. And I had a chance to talk to him about just what it was that he loved.
This is only part of an interview that I conducted with Ricciardo for the upcoming edition on The RACEWKND, which focuses entirely on F1 in America. Having lived in Austin for four years during college and Texas generally for even longer, I wanted to know just what it was about the Lone Star State that vibes with the man from Australia.
Elizabeth Blackstock: I have to ask what is your favorite part of Texas?
Daniel Ricciardo: Oh, as in like being there or as in which city in Texas?
EB: Any of it, both, all of them.
DR: I mean, I’ve really spent most of my time in Austin. I’ve done Dallas for a few days, but yeah, I think my heart lies in Austin for sure. My very first memory of going to Austin was the first night we went to a bar on Rainey Street and I just thought the concept of Rainey Street was so cool.
So that was like, “Oh my God, I’ve never seen a place like this.” But this one bar we were in, there was a live band, which was awesome, and just kind of the diversity in the crowd and the way people were, it sounds silly, but the way people were dressed, it was so different. And in my head I’m like, “You couldn’t wear that anywhere else and not be judged or looked that funny,” where there was just like an overall like comfort amongst everyone there. And it’s really eye opening and it was so nice to see that.
At first I was like, “Oh wow, this is different.” But I think everyone was so accepting, and I think that’s what really warmed me a lot or even more to the place.
And so that’s really one of the main things I love about being there. I mean, one of the first places I went to was the White Horse, so that’s like fun, that’s cool, try to dance a little bit. So yeah, there’s some early memories and again, I know people obviously know about the White Horse, but it’s not some glamorous massive music venue or something and I really like that, and the food truck at the back, some of the best nachos and tacos I’ve ever had, so that’s really good.