Daniel Ricciardo admits there have been times that he has thought of quitting F1 but this year’s extended break “fuelled” his desire to stay.
Ricciardo arrived on the Formula 1 grid in 2011, racing for the now defunct HRT team before moving onto Toro Rosso and then Red Bull.
He twice finished third in the championship before a turbulent 2018 season with Max Verstappen as his team-mate saw him seek pastures new with Renault a year later.
This year’s championship will mark Ricciardo’s second season with the French manufacturer but also his last as he is off to McLaren in 2021.
The Aussie has signed a multi-year deal with the Woking team.
His first season with McLaren will celebrate a decade in Formula 1 for the smiling Aussie although Ricciardo says there have been times he has thought about walking away.
However, this year’s four-month break away from the track inspired him to continue.
“The biggest thing I took from the time out of the seat and the time away from the racing was how much I missed it, how much I love it, and how much I want to continue to do it,” said Ricciardo during an appearance on The F1 Show.
“There are times when it does get you down and you’re like ‘ah, do I want to do this for another five years or am I going to be done in a year or so?’ But not having it definitely reminded me how much I miss it.
“So, it certainly fuelled me to want to stay and be successful in the sport for many years to come.”
Almost two and a half months after the Australian GP was cancelled, the 2020 season will begin on July 5 with the Austrian Grand Prix.