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Ricciardo was "knocked out" by Covid blow

Ricciardo was "knocked out" by Covid blow

Ricciardo was "knocked out" by Covid blow

Ian Parkes & Topher Smith
Ricciardo was "knocked out" by Covid blow

Daniel Ricciardo has described how he felt "knocked out" by the effects of Covid and suggested F1 drivers could do a fitness test if they wish to race after testing positive.

The McLaren driver has returned to the paddock after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, however, Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel will miss this weekend's first race of this season in Bahrain after his own positive test.

Following suggestions from Red Bull's Sergio Perez that drivers should be allowed to make their own choice about whether to race while affected with Covid, Ricciardo spoke of how he struggled with the symptoms and would have not been able to drive.

"I’d like to think if you feel healthy, strong and fit, I don't know if it's whether you need to pass a fitness test to show you're in condition to race then maybe that's enough moving forward," said Ricciardo.

"I was definitely in a pretty rough place, I would have struggled. I was pretty knocked out from it and that's the thing.

"It's case by case and if you feel like you could do it then maybe show a little fitness test and prove it. I would have struggled a week ago."

Ricciardo now back to full health

After testing positive, Ricciardo took the opportunity to rest and regain his energy, with the aim now to use the practice sessions to get back up to speed.

"I feel okay," added Ricciardo. "It's the first time I got Covid. It's nothing new now to the rest of the world. I think most people have had it. You do hear varying effects and whether they're long-lasting or not.

"Honestly, time will tell but I was here all day [on Thursday] doing the media day and we had a full schedule. I felt okay at the end of the day and my energy was fine, so that's the first small test which seemed okay.

"I don't foresee any hurdles but of course, we'll see what happens. I do feel prepared, even though I missed the Bahrain test. I caught up on a ton of rest, so where there's a negative there's a positive!

"We come in pretty fresh now. Fortunately, I've been doing this sport for quite a few years so we have a couple of hours to get up to speed and I expect to do that."

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