Daniel took a decidedly sideways approach to his home grand prix preparations, blasting his way around Melbourne’s Grand Prix Circuit alongside drifting legend ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett.
Red Bull athlete 'Mad' Mike rocked up to Albert Park in his insanely powerful Mazda 26B-TT MX5 'RADBUL' drift machine and after studiously ignoring a few pointers on grand track etiquette from Daniel, such as 'we normally aim to do the lap as quick as possible in as smooth a way possible', the New Zealander tore up the parkland circuit with a series of tyre-frying laps taken at every angle but the straightest.
"It was kind of cool!" said Daniel after his first-hand lesson in letting it all hang out from one of drifting's biggest stars. "Because there are a lot of right-left and left-right combinations you can actually join the drifts pretty well through a lot of the corners. I feel like a lot of the track is built for drifting!
"It was sick, a lot of fun," he added. "It was completely different to our aim which is getting around as fast as you can, but we still got around pretty quick sideways."
For 'Mad' Mike the session was a unique opportunity to showcase his skills at the wheel in front of the sternest critics in the business. "This track is so gnarly, it's so fast! It was an honour to bring drifting here and have the F1 teams be amazed, and to be respected in that manner was really cool," said the Kiwi.
"It's such a different discipline of driving. With drifting, it's explosive, it's scary; it's fun. It's intensified so much because it's judged and you've got three or four corners so one little mistake and you're back on the trailer. "So there are always nerves. Whenever you hop in this car – this is our world championship car, 1200 horsepower in a little MX5 – whether it's competition or demos, it still frightens me."
Whiddett was thrilled, however, to conquer the nerves and show Daniel a view of Albert Park the likes of which he's never had before. "The opportunity to take Daniel around here... Obviously he knows this track very well in Formula One, but we're executing some pretty extreme angles, something that he's not used to at all, it's really freaking cool."