Does Daniel Ricciardo have a diet whim?

( – Not so long ago, Daniel Ricciardo raved about pizza and pasta and a large portion of ice cream for dessert. The Red Bull driver also often had a word to say about the culinary specialties of the respective Grand Prix host country, which he was happy about last year on Wiener Schnitzel on the sidelines of the Austria race. But although the Australian with Italian roots is considered a bon vivant, he has been paying strict attention to his diet, his body and his health since early childhood.

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has been very careful about what he eats since he was young


Of course, everything else would not be employable for a professional racing driver in the premier class of motorsport. But in the podcast by ‘Sky-Sports F1’ reporter Natalie Pinkham, the 28-year-old now reveals himself to be a true nutrition expert who has been following an unusual path for a year and a half. While colleague Lewis Hamilton has been trying to be a convinced vegan for the past year, Ricciardo prefers a ketogenic diet. Means: According to the no-carb principle, he avoids carbohydrates as much as possible, but eats a very high-fat diet.

“Yes, I’ve been on a ketogenic diet for 18 months. I can’t explain it 100% exactly – professionals should stop listening now – but basically it’s about replacing carbohydrates with fats. It helps me to increase my energy and my performance to keep it consistent throughout the day,” explains the Australian. And further: “Carbohydrates and sugar have an extreme influence on your insulin level – and depending on you then have a high or a low. But these high-fat diets let you stay at a constant level throughout the day,” says Ricciardo.

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No bread, no pasta, no sugar – but lots of fat

No bread, no pasta, but a lot of fat – at first glance that sounds unusual and not exactly like a diet for laypeople. “Everyone grows up and thinks: Fat is bad for you, keep your hands off fatty food,” says the Australian. But: “I’ve been doing my keto for over a year now and I can say that it’s never been so easy for me to maintain my weight. I feel good, I’m not gaining weight, I have lower blood sugar levels and lots of energy – just by eating more fats.”

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The five-time Grand Prix winner also provides an example of what that looks like in concrete terms: “Instead of eggs and toast, I now have eggs with avocado or bacon for breakfast. I replace the bread and still try to eat good calories and mine replenish memory.” The Australian with Italian roots finds it anything but difficult to do without pasta, pasta and pizza. “I grew up eating it all the time, so maybe that’s why I’m just fed up with it now,” he laughs.

At a good 1.80 meters tall, the Sonnyboy is one of the taller drivers in Formula 1, so like his teammate Max Verstappen, he has to watch every gram of weight. Especially since cars this year, thanks to Halo, another six kilograms of additional ballast got on top.

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Sugar is the devil – Ricciardo rarely cheats anymore

But thanks to keto, Ricciardo now eats less frequently and only at a strictly specified hour. With his interval fasting, eating and fasting alternate according to strict time phases, giving the Formula 1 star enough time to optimally utilize the food. “Sometimes I used to wake up and have breakfast cereal first. An hour later I was hungry again and ate something again, and then by 9 a.m. I had two meals,” he shakes his head.

Now he’s definitely making it through 11 a.m. before eating his first meal of the day. “Then I eat something with a lot of fat and then I can go on for ages without feeling hungry or losing energy,” he says. When Pinkham’s interlocutor objected that she was dying of hunger in the morning, the Australian said: “These are habits. Your head is trained for it – okay, I’m awake, now I’ll go to the fridge. But why actually? You can do something else, start working, do some exercise, distract yourself.”

When it comes to nutrition, he usually doesn’t…

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