The Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring this weekend marks the delayed start of the 2020 Formula 1 season due to the coronavirus crisis.
Renault DP World F1 Team‘s Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to the on track action getting underway, encouraged by the test the team had at the circuit last month.
The Australian racer said he enjoyed the experience of once again being on track, despite driving a two-year-old car.
“I’m raring to go! It’s been a long time since I’ve raced or even competed properly in anything. It’s getting close now and I had a good taste for it with the test in Austria earlier this month.
“Even though it was a two-year old car, it felt really nice to shake off the cobwebs. It was cool to be in that racing environment again as I’m sure it was for all the engineers and mechanics.
“I was skipping with excitement in the garage even with the various social restrictions in place!” he said.
He has missed not being able to race because of the lockdown, but says he used the time to relax and recuperate, his off time emphasising his love for the sport.
“I think it was important to remain positive throughout that time as it was really uncharted territory for everybody. It was nice to be in one place for a long period of time, staying in one time zone, sleeping well and just having that time to recover and improve my physical condition. I’ve missed racing, of course, but not having it has just reiterated my love for driving Formula 1 cars.“
Ricciardo is confident in the performance of the car, which they have taken time to develop over winter.
“I think we’ve made good progress on the car during winter testing. We can’t be totally sure how it will go, but that’s the same for all the teams. We have a slightly different car to the one we would have raced in Australia, but we’ll have the answers this week!
“We’ll focus on ourselves; we know the midfield will be quite tight, but the target is to give a better showing at this circuit than last year and then we’ll see where we end up. I’ll be giving it my all and I’m sure everyone at the team will do the same.”