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"Years of sacrifice" kept Ricciardo smiling through pandemic

"Years of sacrifice" kept Ricciardo smiling through pandemic

F1 News

"Years of sacrifice" kept Ricciardo smiling through pandemic

"Years of sacrifice" kept Ricciardo smiling through pandemic
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

New McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo believes the "years of sacrifice" endured to reach Formula 1 helped him to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

Personnel involved in the sport faced large periods of time away from home during a condensed 17-race calendar last season which spanned just over six months.

Despite the troublesome times, Ricciardo revealed he could not complain when so many around the world had suffered job losses.

"I think to get to this place I’ve already done the years of sacrifice in the early years of leaving home and living in a small town," said Ricciardo.

"I mean, I may as well have been in quarantine for that first year in Italy [when competing in Italian Formula Renault in 2006]. There was nothing to do where I was.

“Again, it’s still an awesome job and I’m always a glass half full person. We have to lose some of our social life and a bit of fun that comes with the travel.

"But some people are losing their jobs, some people their businesses. We’re still able to race and still get paid so I was always pretty content with it.

“Long and short, I’ve managed okay and I think Facetime and things like this [Microsoft Teams], it helps with family and keeping close.”

Ricciardo finished fifth in his final season with Renault with two podiums to his name.

On reflection, the Australian has suggested the congested calendar did not affect the racing spectacle adversely.

“Normally over the course of 10 months we have, call it, 20 races," added Ricciardo.

"We had 17 in about six months and we were doing nothing, literally nothing, for about three months.

“So we managed to stay in this bubble and move around the world, mostly Europe, and compete with no crowds yet the intensity didn’t change, the rivalries didn’t change and, looking back on it, it was a pretty awesome year.”

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