Daniel Ricciardo says his “adrenaline was spiking” last weekend in Melbourne as he immersed himself once again in the atmosphere of F1.
The Red Bull reserve driver, who remains massively popular with the fans, was back in the paddock for the first time this season, embedded with the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
And Ricciardo admitted feeling a buzz once again as he witnessed the action and browsed the timing screens.
“It’s going good. It’s been nice, the first couple of races I was just watching on the couch. But I was still very invested, live timing and all of that,” he said.
“But it’s nice to be here this weekend, get a little bit of it back. Even in the garage, I was starting to… yeah, adrenaline was spiking a little.
“I do miss it but I’m also happy with where I’m at currently.”
As a driver sitting on the sidelines, Ricciardo elaborated on his role with Red Bull over the race weekend.
“That’s the priority, to kind of run through the weekend as a driver, obviously without the driving part,” he explained.
“But still listen to the drivers through the meetings and get a feel for what the car is doing, where they are looking at to develop it.
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“I think that will also help when I jump on the simulator to have a better understanding of what the team is looking for. It’s fun to be back in this team and this family. I’m very happy.”
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Regarding his future, Ricciardo said that he currently remains in a reflective mode but the Aussie nevertheless expressed a hint of a desire to return to the grid in 2024.
“That’s why I really just wanted this, this time [away from F1],” he said. “I know more will change over the course of the next few months.
“We’re only three months in, four months in to the year. Already having the time to step back and and have the luxury of time to look over everything.
“I’ve just spotted things and seen stuff that I’m like ‘if I was to get back on the grid next year I’ll do things a little different’. It’s quite refreshing this position.
“I know a few people were concerned and worried when I was like ‘I want to take the year off’ and that. But I feel that it was the right thing.”
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