It's the big thing that F1 drivers seldom dish any details about: the simulator.
Every team has their own and drivers also have their own approaches to how they use it - whilst teams know how much they can extrapolate from the data.
An omerta certainly exists - across the grid - when it comes to talking about the subject in any detail.
It was a massive surprise, therefore, when Daniel Ricciardo decided to discuss in-depth how the simulator allowed key Red Bull decision makers to gauge his readiness for racing.
On the latest Beyond The Grid podcast, the popular Aussie revealed some interesting information about a simulator test he did in December 2022, knowing he was out of a race seat for the season ahead.
"I was just a bit burnt out and I think obviously not madly in love with [racing]," he said. "I think that’s obviously a big tell-tale sign because it's the reason we all really get into it, you know, passion comes first.
"I think the confidence was another thing. I think when I did my first simulator day at Red Bull, I realised, and the people there realised it. That made me realise I'm not really my true self."
Horner remarks show how Ricciardo reset was much needed
The Aussie can understand where his boss was coming from.
"Yeah, and I think bad habits can just come in the form of a lack of confidence," Ricciardo reflected. "It was the end of last year. Once the season was done, I jumped on the sim, I guess it was sometime in December before I went home for Christmas."
Ricciardo revealed how readjusting from the McLaren simulator to the Red Bull one had to also be considered as a factor.
"I’ll defend myself a little bit here," he continued. "Every sim is different, right? We can't talk in too much detail about how they differ, but every team really builds their own sim pretty much, so there is also an element of just getting used to another sim. I think on my first day, some of my lack of speed was also just getting up to speed with the new system.
"After that, I started to get into it more and that was going hand in hand with also how I was starting to, I guess by March, miss it more. I started getting back into my physical training and getting off the couch. I think I just got it out of my system over Christmas."
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