Following last night’s news that Daniel Ricciardo is to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next season, sources within the team’s Milton Keynes factory have expressed concern that their new signing ‘literally cannot stop smiling’.
‘It’s a real problem,’ confessed one insider. ‘I mean, we knew he was quite a smiley sort of bloke and originally we thought that was because he was excited to be in F1. But come on, he’s been doing it for almost three years now. You’d think the excitement would have worn off. But no, and if anything signing for a top flight team has just made things worse.’
Red Bull engineers are already expressing concerns about the aerodynamic implications of Ricciardo’s inability to stop beaming away like a bit of a simpleton. ‘We have to make the helmet slightly wider to accommodate his over-developed jaw muscles,’ admitted an anonymous engineer. ‘Not only that, but we also have to make it deeper too because all the smiling makes his chin lower than normal. Basically, we’ll have to dig out the helmet we used for Coulthard.’
However, Ricciardo’s perma-smiling isn’t all bad news for the British team, as one senior insider revealed. ‘Whenever he smiles, which is always, he opens his mouth quite a bit,’ he admitted. ‘So we’ll probably take advantage of that and pop a couple of sponsors’ logos on his teeth. Do you have a number for Colgate?’