Daniel Ricciardo is predicting a degree of ‘chaos’ in the first race of the 2020 Formula 1 season as the sport gets up to speed following an extended winter break.
F1 was set to get back underway in March for the Australian Grand Prix, an event which was cancelled without a wheel being turned.
Austria is now set to host the opening round of the 2020 calendar on July 3-5, making for a more than four month break since winter testing came to a close, and seven months since the flag fell on the 2019 season.
After such a prolonged delay, Ricciardo is predicting “some form of chaos” at the Red Bull Ring in early July.
“Hopefully (it’s) in a controlled manner,” Ricciardo said in an interview with BBC 5 Live.
“When I say chaos, I’m not really referencing cars everywhere, but I’m just referencing there’s going to be so much; a combination of rust, emotion, excitement, just eagerness.
“Everyone is going to be ready to go.
“I think you’re going to get some guys who perform on that level of adrenaline, and others who might not.
“That’s going to create some bold overtakes and some miscalculated ones.
“You’re going to see a bit of everything, I’m sure.”
Despite the long lay-off, Ricciardo doesn’t expect to pay an especially high physical toll during the opening event, suggesting that after almost a decade in F1 he’s learned to adapt to the demands of the sport.
“I’ve noticed over time, my first few winter testings in the early part of my career, day one always felt like a bit of a shock to the system again,” he reasoned.
“The further my career has gone on, the less of a shock that has been.
“The body is conditioned enough by now with experience that it will be okay.
“I would say the rookies, the first year, second year guys would feel it a little more.”
Having recently signed for McLaren ahead of the 2021 season, Ricciardo is set to see the coming season out with Renault, his second with the French marque.
Rumours surrounding the brand’s ongoing commitment to F1 have swirled for some time, though its Chief Financial Officer, and interim-Cheif Executive Officer, Clotilde Delbos, hosed down those suggestions in a call with analysts.
“We have said publicly and we confirm that we remain committed to Formula 1,” she said.
“The announcement of new regulations on spending limits is very good for us because we will have to invest less in this discipline than some of our competitors who spend a lot of money.”