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Ricciardo takes break from  F1 fast lane
Daniel Ricciardo at home in Perth. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Throughout the year he is a jetsetting Formula One driver but for a few precious weeks over Christmas, Daniel Ricciardo will be a regular 24-year-old, going fishing, camping and having a beer with mates.

The Monaco-based F1 star flew home to Perth this week after a huge year in which he was named as Mark Webber's replacement on the Red Bull team, alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo will get behind the wheel for Red Bull next month ahead of his first race at the Melbourne Grand Prix in March. But for now, he plans to enjoy time away from the race track.

"I always come home for Christmas, I need it," he said.

"I try to keep it as low key as I can, go away down south for a few days.

"Until you travel you don't realise how good home is. We live in one of the best cities in the world."

Ricciardo said it had been a make-or-break year for him on the Toro Rosso team and he was thrilled to be given the chance with Red Bull.

"When Mark announced his retirement everything came together nicely for me and I really performed well under the pressure," he said.

"That was a turnaround point in my season."

Fellow Australian Webber had offered parting advice, telling him to "go out and enjoy it". "He said, 'You've earned the seat. There's no need for you to change anything. Just don't get rattled by the extra attention and scrutiny and just keep doing your thing'," Ricciardo said.

The Duncraig-raised driver moved from London to Monaco in September but has spent only three weeks at his new base.

Only now, after seven years in Europe, is he getting used to living out of a suitcase.

"I'm old enough now to realise this is my job - it's probably what I'm going to do for a few years," he said.

"I've got to try to start getting used to it and enjoying the other parts of it, like the travelling."

His parents and girlfriend joined him in Europe for part of the year.

"Each year I'll also have a group of friends who come, some I've known since I was five or six years old," Ricciardo said. "That sort of stuff keeps me grounded and makes me get through the year a bit easier."

He plans to spend as much time as possible with those friends and his big family over the festive season.

"This is the time of year when I can actually enjoy a beer and not feel guilty about it," he said. "Just being young, really, and not having someone watch over me all the time."

Ricciardo is not the only Perth star to be returning home for Christmas.

Singer Samantha Jade, model Nicole Trunfio and actress Emma Booth will also enjoy summer in WA.

Until you travel you don't realise how good home is. We live in one of the best cities in the world.