Ahead of this weekend’s F1 season-opener our Badger in Melbourne, Elle Haus, spent some time hanging out with Australia’s favourite Honey Badger, Daniel Ricciardo.

Red Bull Racing’s official partner PUMA launched an activation space at Melbourne Central complete with a replica Formula 1 car as well as an interactive Pit Stop Station where fans can try their luck to beat the clock changing the car’s tyres. 50 lucky fans were also guaranteed a meet-and-greet with the man himself.

 Ricciardo arrived and greeted the media with his trademark smile, noting he was happy to be back on home soil and is ready to race. He’s hoping Red Bull can close the gap to Mercedes this year and bring their dominance to an end.

His eye remains firmly on the prize as he discussed his goal is to win at least one World Championship in his next two years with Red Bull. But, he is also cautiously optimistic, stating he won’t know the true capability of the cars until they get out on track, but he is planning a solid and successful race weekend.

The ever-smiling Australian happily posed for selfies with his adoring fans before the Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull circus moved on to a private VIP party, proving once again that the Formula 1 crowd know how to put on a show, both on and off-track.

He appeared relaxed as he mingled with guests and competition winners, even enjoying a PUMA fashion show. But the fun and games are over this weekend when it’s down to business for the 2017 Australian Grand Prix.

N.B. I’m happy to report that no footwear was removed for the consumption of alcohol throughout the evening; all beverages were consumed in appropriate glassware.