Smile!

 


Sport sparks emotion. Positive emotion, negative emotion. It's all there, and always there. In a world where we all too often focus on the negatives, shouldn't we take just a little time out to look at the hugely positive aspects of this frankly crazy sport we find ourselves glued to?

A smile. It can say an awful lot without actually saying anything at all. It's a rare sight in any high-pressured bubble, but at times the act of one almost seems frowned upon within the F1 circus. But why? Why shouldn't drivers be able to celebrate their performance? How many times have you seen certain drivers stand on the podium - not necessarily on the top step - and look like they've just finished 17th, 2 laps down?

One man in particular has decided to throw this norm completely out of the window. It doesn't matter if it's a victory, a 5th place or even after being disqualified from a race for something out of his control - Daniel Ricciardo smiles! He's happy to be doing what he loves, what he's dreamed of since being a little boy. He loves being here, and it's damn refreshing to see.

His positivity, attitude and sheer joy and being able to what he loves is infectious. I used this phrase at the start, but sport really does spark emotion. It's why we all fell in love with racing - it set something off inside us. Something that made us crave more.

Despite only being 5 at the time, I can remember watching Damon Hill win the 1996 World Championship and smiling, running around like I myself had just taken the chequered flag. Murray Walker's iconic words that day awoke something within me, and from that moment on I was hooked. And that's what is great about sport; the simplest, smallest thing can lead to a life time of watching racing cars. (Other sports also included.)

Promoted to partner a four-time World Champion in only your third full season had many questioning whether it was too soon for Ricciardo. Not only has he proved us wrong, but the way in which he has done so has been even more pleasing to watch.

Three victories already, maximising every opportunity he has been presented with - something that can't be said of his team mate. Not only is he a great character - something the sport has severely lacked for many years - but he's been able to show what a great driver and racer he is.

The speed at which he has adapted to racing from the midfield to the front of the grid has been remarkable. You'd think he was an experienced campaigner, battling it out with the very best the sport has to offer, frequently coming out on top. And if he doesn't? So what, there's always next time. It's a refreshing and fantastic approach to have. Not just in sport, but in life as well.

He's the kind of character and personality we need, and to have him racing at the front and winning races in the manner he does is superb. A role model without doubt, and an inspiration to anyone wanting to pursue their dreams. Young, hungry, determined, passionate and on top of all that - a bloody talented driver.

Keep smiling Daniel, you're on camera.


Paul Godley 24/08/2014

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Top Drivers

 
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Hamilton 252
Rosberg 211
Vettel 203
Raikkonen 107
Bottas 101
Massa 97
 

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