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The lights have yet to go down for the first time on the grid this year but already #danielricciardo and #maxverstappen have been going head to head in #melbourne at the scene of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull Racing duo tried out speed of a very different kind with the Red Bull Dinghy Derby, the teammates and rivals battling it out for ascendancy on the city’s Yarra River.
With the backdrop of the #melbourne skyline and the iconic Flinders Station, the pair delighted spectators showing their trademark competitiveness alongside professional dinghy racers Scott Jenke and Jeremy Newman in boats that reach speeds of up to 90kph.
For Ricciardo, preparing to race in front of his home crowd, he said he hoped a winning start to 2017 on the water could be replicated come race day at Albert Park on Sunday in front of his countrymen and women.
Before taking to the water, he said: “Hopefully it’s my first win of the week and I can continue like that for the rest of the year.
“By Friday, I’m hanging out to race, to see where you stand - it’s the first time we’re all on the same tyres, same fuel. You get the best impression of who’s competitive. I’m keen to find out - I’m sure everybody else is too.”
As for the dinghy racing, he added: “The speed and acceleration are pretty impressive even though I’m sure they turned it down a bit for us. It’s a super nimble craft with a turning circle that’s practically nothing.”
Verstappen, meanwhile, admitted he lacked the straight-line speed of his rival, a facet he hopes is not repeated when the Formula 1 season gets under way.
“I like speed, I like to be in the water,” said the Flying Dutchman of his high-paced dinghy debut. “I didn’t really have expectations because I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Of the season ahead, he added: “Now I’m looking forward to starting racing. That’s what I like. Testing is alright but it’s not a #competition yet. We’re looking forward to starting in #melbourne. It’s so special for Daniel as it’s his home grand prix.”
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