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Ricciardo shares ‘different’ plan for year off
Punted Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his goals for this year after his career drastically changed course at the end of last season.
Ricciardo was paid out from McLarenwith one year remaining on his contract to make way for fellow Australian Oscar Piastri.
He subsequently signed on as Red Bull Racing‘s third driver — four years after he departed the squad with whom he won seven grands prix.
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While the position keeps the popular Aussie in the paddock, it doesn’t guarantee him a spot on the grid and therefore eliminates any hopes of a world championship.
In a post to his LinkedIn account, Ricciardo shared his new ambitions as part of his role as the chief of optimism at Optus.
“This is the first year in as long as I can remember that my goals aren’t going to be 100 percent about racing and competing,” he wrote on Thursday.
“Whilst there’s still an element of that, it’s in a different capacity this year and I now have space for a separate set of goals to focus on too.”
In outlining his professional goals, Ricciardo said the move to a non-racing role changed his focus from winning for himself to helping the team at Milton Keynes further develop.
“This year is really about being a team player at Red Bull,” he wrote.
“I’m back in an environment and ultimately a family that I have a lot of good memories with, and it feels really good to be back there.
“But it’s not about me this year, it’s about the wider team and trying to contribute and help them where I can.
“Jumping into the simulator, learning their car and helping shape the development are all things I’m focused on doing.
“In turn that will develop my abilities, my confidence and my enjoyment behind the wheel.”
Ricciardo admitted it had been a “tough couple of years professionally”, but that his competitive streak still burned within him.
“There’s an element of that competitor in me wanting to remind people that I’m still here, still a professional and still contributing to success,” he wrote.
In discussing his personal goals, Ricciardo highlighted his intention to return to the grid in 2024, therefore emphasising a need to make the most of his year break.
“From a personal perspective, this year for me is really feeling like a bit of a luxury to have the opportunity to do things that I’ve always wanted to and not had the time,” he wrote.
“I don’t want the year to pass me by because if I am racing again next year, I’ll wish I’d made the most of the free time whilst I had it,” he said.
Despite spending most of the year flying around the world to F1 circuit, Ricciardo seeks to do more travelling – on his terms.
“It’s weird saying this after travelling the world for the last 15 years, but I want to travel more,” he wrote.
“I want to hit some destinations and actually experience the country, slow down and become a local.
“So often with the F1 schedule, we’re in and out of a country in a few days without seeing anything other than the circuit and the hotel, and it’s certainly not a vacation.
“I get so much energy from new countries, new conversations and new things, so I’m really looking forward to being in control of the destination and the schedule.”
The lack of personal time permitted by the tightly-packed F1 schedule has also inspired Ricciardo to spend more time with family and friends.
“Prioritise spending more time one-on-one with them which is something I haven’t been able to do for so long,” he wrote.
“They’ve always supported me and I haven’t had the time to invest back in them.”
Ricciardo also wants to “improve his skills on two wheels”, referring to his love for riding motorcycles and his 110cc dirt bike.
“I really want to get better and better on my 110,” he wrote.
“I’ve always enjoyed motorbikes but never really been able to ride much because the luxury of time hasn’t been there.
“I love learning new skills and I think that drive for excellence that I’m used to will carry over into this hobby too.”
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