Ricciardo keeping 2022 in perspective

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has said the opening half of the 2022 Formula 1 season was ‘more fun’ than the same period was a year earlier.

The McLaren driver last year told Speedcafe.com that he was looking forward to reuniting with family and friends after a prolonged forced separation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ricciardo was unable to see his family in person for more than a year, the timing of which coincided with his arrival at McLaren.

The 2021 campaign was a trying one, with victory in the Italian Grand Prix the shining moment by some margin.

With the world more open, and the Formula 1 paddock gradually easing restrictions, Ricciardo has been able to re-engage with his support network both at and away from the track.

“It’s definitely better,” he told Speedcafe.com of 2022 versus a year ago.

“It’s more fun as well. You know, the seasons are a bit of a grind, and not in a negative way, but that they’re just busy.

“I think having family or friends come out to races just makes the weekends, honestly just makes it more enjoyable, kind of just breaks it up as well.

“This year, I’ve had a few mates come out to some races, my folks were out in Silverstone.

“So, you know, it wasn’t a good weekend on paper, but it was certainly nice to have them there, and I think they’ll try to get to another one or two this year.”

Formula 1 is currently in the middle of its annual summer break, a two-week shut down during which teams much cease all but (effectively) essential maintenance tasks.

Ricciardo has taken the opportunity to head to the United States, where he has been holidaying with friends in Montana.

Meanwhile, in Europe, his future has been central to discussions as he looks set to exit McLaren at the end of the season, replaced by Oscar Piastri.

Speaking with this publication prior to the summer break, Ricciardo said it was about getting some time away from the sport to enable him to keep some perspective.

That’s a process aided by friends and family, something which was notably absent – or far more difficult – last year.

Already a relaxed figure within the paddock, the opportunity to reconnect has also seen him mellow.

“I think it also puts things into perspective as well, just having mates around and stuff,” he explained.

“I think I’m also trying to get better at kind of leaving what happens on the track at the track.

“Of course, I’ll give myself homework to do and all of that but it’s just not letting a result carry through to that evening, to the next day.

“I think just through maturity and experience, just trying to handle the highs and lows a little bit better,” he added.

“So even [during the high periods], making sure I don’t get too high and whatever, and also the lows of course, trying to keep it a bit more level.”

Formula 1 returns from its summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 26-28.

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