Daniel Ricciardo is reveling in the “unknown” of the unscheduled additions to the 2020 calendar and is going to have some “fun”.
Originally the 2020 season was going to feature a record 22 races, but the effects of the global pandemic meant that couldn’t be the case.
Instead the Austrian Grand Prix kicked-off the season, and Formula 1 bosses have worked throughout the year to extend the calendar to a total of 17 races.
As a result we will be treated to some blasts from the past like the Nurburgring, Imola and Istanbul Park, as well as some totally new venues like the Algarve International Circuit and Mugello which hosted the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Bahrain will also host a race on its “Outer Circuit” to be called the Sakhir Grand Prix.
It’s safe to say that Formula 1’s first visit to Mugello proved to be a success, and Ricciardo is looking forward to tackling the other new additions to the schedule in the coming months.
“Looking forward we have got Nürburgring, Istanbul, I won’t name them all but I think it is going to be fun,” he told Motorsportweek.com.
“It’s a bit of an unknown for a few of us. Even [at Mugello] learning the track on Friday, I drove it many years ago but learning it in a faster car is cool.
“You try and pick up some lines and some tricks, and that whole process of learning is really fun.”
A message for F1 fans from @danielricciardo – and we couldn't agree more 👀 😍
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 19, 2020
Ricciardo’s Renault team-mate Esteban Ocon praised Formula 1 for seeking alternative venues this season and spoke of how “enjoyable” it will be for him to race at new places.
“It has been fun to discover a new track like Mugello, something that has not been done before in F1,” he said.
“Thanks to F1 for bringing those tracks this year. It was probably the right year to try stuff like that.
“It is definitely enjoyable and it was very cool to be racing [at Mugello]. And there are many more [circuits] that we are going to discover this year.”
Before the alternative tracks really start kicking in though Formula 1 makes a stop at the Sochi Autodrom for the Russian Grand Prix.
Ocon heads into the event P12 in the Drivers’ Championship, 23 points behind Ricciardo.
Renault meanwhile are only 23 points adrift of McLaren who sit P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.