Personal side of drivers is often underexposed, according to Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo was unable to see his family for about twenty months due to the corona virus and the strict restrictions in Australia. The Australian indicates that he almost felt homesick as a result. According to him, personal stories like these are often overlooked in Formula 1. “It’s just like anyone else in the spotlight. The outside world often doesn’t see them as ‘real’ people.”

The 32-year-old Australian exchanged his home country with Europe at the age of 17 to build a career in motorsport. Still, Ricciardo had a hard time not being able to return to his home country in 2021. “Homesickness sounds dramatic, but I certainly missed my family,” he said in an interview with, among others, Under normal circumstances it was easy for Ricciardo, if he wanted his parents to join a race he could arrange plane tickets to fly them in. Now that was a lot more difficult because of corona. “The possibility of not being able to do that made it very frustrating because I couldn’t control it anymore.

In Monaco 2018, Ricciardo was able to celebrate his victory together with his parents. (Getty Images)

Human aspect often overlooked

The Perth-born McLaren driver also indicates that human aspects like this often remain underexposed in Formula 1. He compares the situation with other well-known personalities. They are sometimes not seen as real people by the outside world. “Actors say, ‘Oh, that’s Brad Pitt, he’s Superman, he can do anything he wants’, as if he’s never sad or emotional.” Traveling a lot makes you miss your loved ones, according to Ricciardo. “And in times like these, it’s ten times more difficult.”

Also read: Ricciardo admits: ‘Clearly needs to take a step forward’

The Australian had a difficult first season at McLaren where nothing seemed to work at first. Still, he doesn’t feel that missing his family has affected his performance. “But especially if things don’t go well, it does have an impact, because then you would like some support and love from your family.” That could have helped him at times when he was less comfortable in his own skin in 2021. “If things don’t go well, you can sometimes feel lonely. In those moments it would have helped if they had been there. Then they could have helped me get out of a bad mood or dip,” continues Ricciardo.

After nearly twenty months, Ricciardo was able to spend time with his family, including nephew Isaac. Photo: Daniel Ricciardo Instagram

Although he chose not to travel to Australia in December 2020 due to the quarantine obligation in the country, he did so after the 2021 season. At the last race in Abu Dhabi, he joked that this time it was well worth it to stare at the ceiling of a hotel room for two weeks.

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