During an exclusive interview with CNN’s Amanda Davies, Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo opened up about his time in isolation, as well as his opinions on the future of fellow competitor Sebastian Vettel after his announcement that he was moving on from Scuderia Ferrari after 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ricciardo has isolated himself on his family’s farm in Western Australia, a far cry from the bustling pageantry of the Formula 1 world.
“It gets pretty lonely out on the farm,” Ricciardo admitted to CNN. “I’ll be honest I miss the spotlight, the limelight and the chaos of F1, and the competition. I want that again, very soon.”
Despite the occasional pang of loneliness, the Australian has been active on social media sharing content of all types of things, including driving in his off-road buggy, which has helped him satiate the need for speed.
“Even just making tracks through the bush and around some trees and that, it’s been nice to just keep my eye in and keep my reflexes going,” he said.
“And yeah it’s on dirt and you’re sliding and it’s not really like F1 but [it’s] keeping my reactions and reflexes on. So that’s certainly something I truly believe has helped.”
He’s also had to get creative with his workouts, another thing he’s posted on social media. He’s had to adapt to flipping tires and even lifting mechanical equipment like gearboxes.
“If you’re kind of in a gym all the time and running on a treadmill, no one enjoys that after a while, it becomes monotonous.” he said.
“Even just being creative with the workouts has made them much more tolerable.”
Ricciardo also talked about his opinions on the future of Sebatian Vettel. Before joining Renault in 2019, he spent six years racing for Red Bull Racing, with Vettel being his team mate for one year in 2014.
Ricciardo stated that he wasn’t surprised about Vettel’s move, considering incidents with teammate Charles Leclerc, but he also believes that the four-time world champion wants to continue in the sport.
“I don’t want to say the writing was on the wall, but a few of those incidents made this news slightly less traumatic,” Ricciardo said of Vettel’s departure.
“If I know him well enough, I believe he’s still hungry and competitive enough to want to continue.”
Ricciardo also expressed that he would like to see the 32 year old German back on the grid next year.
“I like Seb. Obviously, I had him as a teammate, but as a competitor he brings something to our sport.
“He’s one of the very few if not the only one that isn’t active on social media, and he’s one of the most successful people ever in our sport, yet he’s one of the most private. And even that in itself brings a lot of mystery behind him.”
“Also, because he’s still older than me. So it makes me not the oldest guy,” joked Ricciardo.
Ricciardo is set to join McLaren F1 for 2021, and Sebastian Vettel remains a free agent as of the writing of this article.