Australian Daniel Ricciardo has done what Aussies do best, and seen the bright side of the forced break from racing caused by the Covid-19 lockdown. And with confirmation that the 2020 F1 season will start in July, the Renault driver told fans on a Formula 1 Instagram Live session that this break may actually prolong his career, which will be music to the ears of McLaren fans, ahead of his switch to the Woking outfit in 2021.
‘We travel so much… and you kind of just get into it and you go and you go and you go,” Ricciardo replied. “But sometimes, you don’t really get a chance to stop, and it was, in a way, nice to be forced to stop just for our bodies actually, not being in pressurised cabins [on aeroplanes] all the time and all that sort of stuff.
‘It’s probably, from a performance point of view, maybe given me a couple more years onto my career. So I see positives in it.’
Ricciardo also touched on his shock move to McLaren, which was made at a time of great uncertainty in Formula 1 due to coronavirus, the postponement of wide-ranging rule changes that had originally been slated for 2021, and his new team parting ways with Renault at the conclusion of 2020 to rekindle their relationship with Mercedes.
‘[It wasn’t] easy, but at the same time, not an overnight decision. I guess I would just say this whole year’s been weird, and continues to be weird.
‘Having a lot of time to think about things like the future was good, but then it was also sometimes not easy because you’ve got all this time but not much action, I guess. That was certainly difficult. The whole year has been crazy for things – even beyond coronavirus now – that making these decisions with only testing to go by this year, that wasn’t easy. ‘For sure ideally you’d race, you’d get going and you kind of make your mind up, but we’re not in those times now with that luxury,’ concluded Ricciardo.