McLaren star Daniel Ricciardo once revealed he wears old underwear for races and was lucky to make such a decision after ‘touching cloth’ in Monaco back in 2017.
The Australian has enjoyed success in F1 races in Monte Carlo, securing a win for Red Bull in 2018, but the year prior could have ended vastly differently by both ruining his car and his undergarments.
In the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, in which Ricciardo started fifth on the grid, a safety car was deployed after Jenson Button put Pascal Wehrlein in the wall at Montier and, when the race resumed on lap 67, it almost led to a retirement for Ricciardo.
With cold tyres having been stuck behind the safety car, Ricciardo brushed the wall at Sainte Devote but remarkably managed to keep his Red Bull on track and not lose race position – though it was a very close call.
Ricciardo knew just how close it was and the free-speaking fan favourite revealed perhaps a bit too much after the race with his underwear habits, saying: “I didn’t enjoy that, I think I touched cloth. I usually race with old underwear because I know these things can happen.
“I hit [the wall] pretty hard and I assumed I would have had damage, so happy to hold it. When you get a safety car, these tyres are like driving on ice, I was quite happy to see the chequered flag.”
Ricciardo’s fortunes would improve at Monaco the following year with his aforementioned race win, part of a remarkable sequence of results at Monte Carlo that saw him finish on the podium in four of five Grand Prix races in the French principality from 2013-2018.
That impressive sequence would end in 2019 with a ninth-placed finish during his brief stint with Renault, while last year’s event saw Ricciardo finish 12th – with McLaren teammate Lando Norris securing third place behind Carlos Sainz and race winner Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo will hope to return to the joy he has enjoyed prior to the last two events in Monaco in this weekend’s Grand Prix, with the Australian having finished outside the points in each of the last three races.
He sits 12th in the Drivers’ Championship this season with just 11 points to his name, 28 points behind teammate Norris and 99 behind championship leader Verstappen.