Vettel has been “a real buddy” amid 2022 F1 struggles

Ricciardo struggled with type from the beginning of the season, and in August agreed a deal to finish his McLaren contract a yr early, making approach for 2021 FIA Formulation 2 champion Oscar Piastri to take his seat.

Ricciardo stated that Vettel, who will retire from F1 on the finish of 2022, gave him welcome ethical assist at a tough time.

“He’s picked up the cellphone a number of occasions this yr, and simply been a buddy, and similar to displaying care, and simply checking in as a real buddy would do,” stated Ricciardo. 

“And to have mates like that’s so essential. But it surely’s additionally not that frequent, by way of on the grid.

“We get on with drivers, and also you do construct friendships, however to have sort of that deeper degree of friendship, and for instance some gestures he made this yr, and a number of the kindness he confirmed in direction of me was, in a approach, sort of surprising. However simply tremendous good.”

Requested to elaborate on when Vettel had reached out Ricciardo stated: “It had a bit extra emphasis across the time of all of the contract stuff occurring, and when there was quite a lot of noise.

“And I do not wish to single him out as a result of there have been another drivers, however he was the one which was definitely choosing up the cellphone fairly typically and checking in.”

Ricciardo stays dedicated to sitting out subsequent season, most likely with a reserve driver function, earlier than making an attempt to bounce again with a prime F1 seat in 2024.

He’s adamant {that a} yr on the sidelines will make him hungrier for a return than if he had taken a seat with a much less aggressive staff and raced subsequent yr.

“It is humorous, as a result of individuals would possibly say nicely, in case you’re fascinated by 2024, why aren’t you subsequent yr?,” he stated of his technique.

“However I understand how I am going to really feel after having a while off, and watching the races from the TV or someplace within the paddock, it will give me all that, for instance, starvation again. And I’ve the starvation nonetheless, however I need it to be overflowing.

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Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Picture by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Pictures

“I do know only a little bit of break day will try this, as a result of I get it in a summer season break, and that is solely two or three weeks off.

“I actually felt it in COVID, once we had three months off or one thing, and I felt like that was my greatest most likely my greatest season since perhaps 2016.

“And so I do know what a little bit of absence does for me. And I admire each driver is totally different and so they really feel how they really feel. However I do know taking the precise break day subsequent yr will make me very hungry to be again on the grid in 2024.

“In order that’s why I say I do wish to be again in 2024. However there isn’t any ensures.”

Ricciardo believes that racing a much less aggressive automobile in 2023 can be extra of a danger for his profession than taking a sabbatical.

“I believe the danger is leaping right into a seat subsequent yr. It is proven right here at my time at McLaren, nothing’s assured by way of efficiency,” he added.

“If it was for no matter motive a comparatively unsuccessful marketing campaign, then I believe I’d personally most likely be executed with the game. So, that danger appears approach greater than the danger of sitting out a yr.”

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