Ricciardo set for ‘lighthearted approach’ to this year
Daniel Ricciardo is determined to ensure this year is as lighthearted as possible as he seeks to figure out what he wants to do with his career.
After racing since the age of eight when he first savoured a go-kart, the 33-year-old is in no rush to jump into a competitive one-off drive this year.
That is despite the fact Ricciardo has confirmed that in his Third Driver role with Red Bull this season, the reigning Formula 1 constructors’ champions would likely allow him to make a cameo appearance elsewhere.
Whilst the Perth driver would welcome such an opportunity if it arose, it seems at this stage he is eager to enjoy the downtime he will be afforded at Red Bull.
“I’m definitely looking more towards figuring out how everything goes this year and see what’s up for ’24,” said Ricciardo, speaking to invited media including Speedcafe.com.
“For now, I’m kind of like F1 or nothing. I think that’s kind of where my mindset is at. If I’m not racing F1, then I really just do want to give myself that break.
“So I’m not necessarily looking to do things or other races this year.
“It’s going to be more that if I’ve got free time, then I’ll go and ride dirt bikes with friends, go and ride across parts of America or something like that, just do more like adventure things a little bit more, let’s say fun, a bit more kind of lighthearted.
“I know these sorts of things will give me a lot of good headspace, clarity, and let’s say good life experience and stories to tell.
“So let’s say it will be a more light-hearted approach than being eager to compete and to race something.”
Ricciardo enjoyed winter breather
The fact Ricciardo knew he would not be on the Formula 1 grid this season also allowed him to enjoy a more relaxing winter than might otherwise have been the case.
Although Ricciardo knew in late November, following the conclusion to last term, he would be returning to Red Bull as its reserve, he was also aware the off-season would not be as intense as in the past
“It felt really nice to have a little bit of time off,” reflected Ricciardo.
“Even the physical side of things, at this time of year, I would have been into an intense pre-season training regime and all of that.
“I was able just to hang out at home a little longer and spend time with family and do the little things you kind of miss out on over the course of time, especially being based in Australia, which is far from normally where I am.
“So just getting that quality time and that kind of level of fulfilment, on a personal level, it was really nice.
“I feel like with my weight, I could probably jump in a car and my weight would be good. The physical stuff I’ll build up and obviously stay ready and sharp.
“But it’s been nice to just not be full on and give myself a bit more of a breather and enjoy some holidays and the hobbies a little more than the serious stuff.”