Ricciardo: Driving an F1 car again felt a little foreign

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo admitted he needed time to re-acclimatise to driving a Formula 1 car, after the sport’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ricciardo drove the 2018-spec Renault at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this week as he prepares for the return of F1 next month.

Following a four-month break since testing in February, Ricciardo said that while it was strange at first, he quickly re-acclimatised.

“It was good to get back into it,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.

“The first few laps felt a little foreign but it’s like all things when you have been doing something pretty much your whole life, it doesn’t take long until you remember the feeling and it all feels very normal very quickly.”

When Formula 1 returns to action in Austria next month it will follow a number of social distancing measures as it look to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, with the races also set to take place behind closed doors.

Referring to the new measures that were in place during the test, Ricciardo said that it was quite a significant change.

“It was certainly different,” he added.

“Our debriefs were happening over video calls. Most of us were sitting in the same area but at distance so we’re all doing our debrief through video meetings.

“Everyone has a mask on in the garage. There is just a little more awareness of personal space. Whenever there’s a change it takes a bit of time to adapt but in time we do adapt.”