Ricciardo reveals relaxed Australian Grand Prix build-up
By Mat Coch
Saturday 8th April, 2023 - 6:00am
Daniel Ricciardo has revealed a low-key build-up to last weekend’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
The Australian was reserve driver for Red Bull across the Melbourne weekend in what was his first appearance in an F1 paddock since the end of 2022.
He filled several commercial commitments for the team along with sitting in on engineering debriefs with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Prior to the event, Ricciardo was in the United States, where he’s spent much of his time since leaving McLaren, following a lengthy stint at home in Australia.
Unusual Australian Grand Prix build-up
“Pretty much straight off the last race [Abu Dhabi, 2022] I went straight home to Oz and stayed there for nearly two months,” Ricciardo told an exclusive group of media, including Speedcafe.
“That was the longest I’ve been [home] for a while.
“Then I kind of just had a bit of fun; I went to the States, did the Super Bowl which was really cool, got my American fix, and then it was to the UK simulator and some marketing days there with the team.
“Then I was home in Monaco for a few weeks, that’s when it was really just to have some time to myself,” he added.
“I was in my apartment and didn’t really have any plans or commitments, I was kind of 14 days to myself.
“That’s when I started just to get a little bit of that vibe back inside and started lifting a few weights and feel better about myself.
“Last weekend, I was in Vegas for my friend’s bachelor’s do.
“Even stuff like that, I’m enjoying those little things this year; a week before my home race, when would I ever be in Vegas!?
“It nearly feels wrong but it actually felt really right being able to do something like that.”
Leaning towards an F1 return
Ricciardo is yet to make his mind up on whether he’ll chase a return to the F1 grid next season.
However, he has admitted he’s leaning towards making that decision.
He remains a popular figure with more than 85 percent of Speedcafe readers wanting to see him back in F1 full-time.
For now, he remains focused on getting what he needs out of the year and enjoying the chance to recover, relax, and recharge.
“Just trying to get that balance and kind of get that fix this year, and ultimately just recharge,” he said.
“If I am to come back next year, just to feel like I’m coming in with a lot of intensity and a lot of purpose.”
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