“Of course racing is my passion. I would love to go through what Max [Verstappen] and Checo [Sergio Perez] are feeling – that excitement, that adrenaline and all those emotions, but I’m in a place where I feel like it’s all happening at the right time for the right reason.
“It’s also filled me with more understanding of what I would do if I was to jump back in a race seat.”
Ricciardo sets sight on F1 return
He added: “Being at the track in Melbourne and even during qualifying I noticed my leg was tapping. I was certainly starting to feel it, so the hunger is still there.
“I know it’s there [the hunger to return to F1] - but I want to make sure it’s exploding out of my skin. It’s getting more and more, that time will probably come, but right now it’s in a very good place where I’m not regretting taking this year off.
“I’m happy, but by the end of the year I think I’ll be ready to go.”
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