Daniel Ricciardo admitted he struggled with his decision to leave Red Bull.
Daniel Ricciardo admitted he struggled with his decision to leave Red Bull.

Sleep-deprived Ricciardo’s frank admission

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted his race preparation for the races leading up to the summer break may have been affected by the stressful process of deciding to leave Red Bull which often left him struggling for sleep.

The Australian shocked Formula One when he announced he would be joining Renault in 2019 when most expected him to be staying with the Milton Keynes outfit or at least making the swap to Ferrari, whom he was heavily linked with joining.

That announcement came in the week following the Hungarian Grand Prix, during the mid-season break, shortly after a drop-off in performances following a blistering start to the season which saw him claim wins in Monaco and China.

His three races in the lead-up to the Hungarian Grand Prix saw two retirements and a fifth-place â€" the results at a time when he was talking to plenty of other teams and weighing up his future.

And in an interview with ESPN, Ricciardo has admitted for the first time that the strain of that decision had more of an impact on him mentally that he initially realised.

"At time, I didn't think so," Ricciardo told ESPN. "I feel like even if I was to, say, trip and fall over on the way to the car and scratch all my arm, by the time I got in the car it would be blacked out in my head.

"I guess what would have affected - which you probably don't think at a time - is when you're away from the track and instead of getting eight hours sleep a night, you're getting six hours sleep because your brain is ticking... for sure this has some form of an accumulated affect.

Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull after 10 years, five of which were with Red Bull Racing.
Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull after 10 years, five of which were with Red Bull Racing.

"Again, I think I am stronger than that and when I get in the car I am sweet, I am switched on, but maybe it did take a little bit away from me without me knowing.

"For sure there were nights where I didn't sleep as I should have because I had a lot on my mind. Then that builds up and I was probably not as sharp as I once was."

News Corp Australia


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