Ricciardo plans to qualify last for opening race

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo jokes that he plans to start the 2020 season-opener from the back of the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo jokes that he plans to start the 2020 season-opener from the back of the grid.

Whenever the opening race of 2020 is, Daniel Ricciardo joked that he plans to qualify last because it will be “mayhem” at turn 1.

Already the opening eight rounds of the original 2020 season have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, and currently the Canadian Grand Prix on June 13 is set to be the season opener.

But even if the season was to start by then, drivers would have missed three months of scheduled action, so Ricciardo has a plan to stay safe while his rivals blow out the cobwebs.

“It’s gonna get real,” he joked during a Q and A on Renault’s Instagram.

“I’m thinking of qualifying last, because I think Turn 1 is just going to be mayhem.

“I’ll just watch it all unfold, and then I’ll lead the first lap. I’ll put it on pole and voluntarily start last!”

The Monaco Grand Prix has been cancelled outright, making it the first time that the race will be absent from the calendar since 1954.

And Ricciardo believes that the streets of Monte Carlo where he claimed victory in 2018 will be a big loss for 2020.

“I’m not like racing laps in my head yet, because I don’t know what track we’re going to be racing on,” he said, referring to wherever the first race of the season will be.

“I watched an onboard of Monaco last night and got a bit sad. I don’t really know where we’re going to be. That one hurt me.

“They’re all going to hurt, for sure, Melbourne being so close as well. The reality is setting in, unfortunately.”

Currently Ricciardo has been training in his home country Australia with performance coach Michael Italiano.

He has been posting regular videos and said that this training is helping to keep him in a “competitive mindset”.

“Training’s definitely the thing that’s keeping me with that competitive mindset,” he explained.

“You get a bit of anger out when you train, so that’s been my medicine for now.

“I feel like now is kind of perfect to get in shape. We’re forced to stay in, there’s no jet lag, there’s no airports, we can really create like a training camp which we don’t always have.

“It’s been nice knowing we’ve got time, we don’t have to rush it. I think you’re going to see a lot of drivers and people in general, whenever this is over, all pretty fit I hope.”

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