Ricciardo enjoying ‘selfless’ F1 sabbatical

Daniel Ricciardo is enjoying living 'more selflessly' during his F1 sabbatical

Daniel Ricciardo is enjoying living ‘more selflessly’ during his F1 sabbatical

Daniel Ricciardo is enjoying living “a little more selflessly” by spending more time with friends and family during his F1 sabbatical.

The Aussie star is taking a well-publicised year off after a trying period with McLaren.

He’s stepped into the third driver role with Red Bull and was on duty for the Australian Grand Prix weekend in Melbourne.

There have been simulator sessions and, later in the year, potentially some tyre testing and show runs.

Otherwise, the 33-year-old has an open calendar and is enjoying making up for lost time.

“It’s really just spending time with family, like my niece and nephew,” Ricciardo explained.

“My nephew, he’s learning how to ride a bike, so being on the farm with him and teaching him a little bit and watching him call and get back up, it’s been really cool.”

Earlier this year, Ricciardo travelled to Las Vegas for a friend’s bachelor party, “I think it was the first bachelor party I’ve ever been to.”

It’s those experiences and opportunities the eight-time grand prix winner is looking to enjoy as he spends a year assessing his future.

The signs suggest a racing return for the moment; he’s been training on days off, enjoyed time in the simulator, and following the sport more closely than he thought he would.

But he’s also aware there’s more to experience in life, and deciding to return to racing is not one he’ll make lightly.

“The way I put it is that my family and friends have been there for me for the last 17 years since I’ve been on the road,” he explained.

“I was never really there for them, obviously, just through pursuing my career.

“I’ve lived very selfishly, so now, to spend a bit of time with them, I certainly do feel like I owe it to them.

“But it does feel really nice to just get that time and rekindle a lot of relationships.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it; it has been the last part of my life, but I just feel that it’s important because a lot of these people that I talk about, whether it’s my family or my friends that I grew up with, they’re also the ones that keep me grounded,” he added.

“We all know this sport and this lifestyle is pretty crazy, and it’s not always like real life, or it doesn’t feel like real life, so I know that also these people are important for me to remain who I am.

“If I was to lose some of these relationships, it would make me quite sad because these are that core group that has been there really since day one.

“So it’s nice. A lot of them have kids now, and that… even, like, truthfully, I don’t know all the kids’ names. Life goes so quickly, and some of my best mates, I’m like, ‘Oh, what’s your daughter’s name?’

“To spend some time with them and show interest in their life when they’ve always shown it in mind, it’s just been a little bit more fulfilling to live a little more selflessly.”

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