Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo says he’s “in love” with his girlfriend Heidi Berger.
Ricciardo went public with their relationship in a social media post in August that featured them hiking in California.
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Berger, currently a student at New York University, is the daughter of 10-time Grand Prix winner Gerhard Berger, who represented Ferrari and McLaren during his 14-year F1 tenure.
Some reports suggest Ricciardo has been dating the aspiring actress since 2019.
In an interview with Fitzy & Wippa on Friday, Ricciardo confirmed their relationship was getting serious.
Host Ryan Fitzgerald asked the 33-year-old: “Are you in love at the moment?”
Ricciardo replied: “Yeah mate, I’m in love, I got a good thing going, so yeah. I’ve got a good balance in life right now.
He added he has enjoyed picking the brains of Berger senior, who was one of his childhood motorsport heroes.
“When I was young, I mean I’ve followed F1 since I was a kid and I had a Berger hat,” Ricciardo said.
“It’s funny, I talk about it with him. He still goes to quite a few races he still has an interest in the sport and he still does some business with it.
“Any ex-sportsman, anyone who’s been through it — I just love speaking to them and gaining knowledge and insight through their experience there’s so much wisdom.”
Asked if Heidi has any talent behind the wheel, Ricciardo joked: “Definitely not race car status. No offence.”
The Perth native is without a F1 contract for 2023 after McLaren terminated his contract a year early, replacing him with compatriot Oscar Piastri.
Ricciardo is still unsure if he will secure a contract with another team to join next year’s grid, but he said his relationship is helping give him a relaxed outlook.
“I think love eliminates stress, yeah absolutely,” he said.
“I honestly don’t know yet. When I say I don’t know, like I don’t have a contract yet for next year. Could it still happen? It could.”
Ricciardo said he is open to the idea of skipping next year’s season and returning to the grid in 2024, and it appears increasingly likely he will go down that path.
“I’m not getting too caught up in next year, like of course I want to race, I want to be on the grid, I want to be competing,” he continued.
“But I’m not seeing next year as all or nothing. I also think 2024 is something I need to be aware of and look at.
“If it’s kind of like taking a step back to then take two steps forward — that’s what we’re trying to figure out at the moment, me and my team.
“So that could be a year off … but I would still very much be in the mindset of getting back on the grid for 2024.”
There are currently vacant seats at Williams, Haas, Alfa Romeo, Alpine and one at AlphaTauri — after Yuki Tsunoda re-signed with the Red Bull feeder team.
The veteran Aussie also revealed the story behind the viral photo of pop star Harry Styles wearing a Ricciardo T-shirt from his merchandise range.
“I had a chuckle at that,” Ricciardo said.
“We have a mutual friend. It’s funny, when the picture came out, the mutual friend was like, ‘I can’t believe this hasn’t got picked up earlier because he wears the shirt all the time, he’s always out in public wearing it’.
“I’m still waiting for mine (Harry Styles shirt) in the mail.”
The F1 season resumes at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday October 2, with lights out scheduled for 11pm AEST.