The drivers in F1 are global superstars. However, many tend to forget that they are humans too, and that they have their own troubles.
The Australian has always been a homely person. However, in 2021, he could not visit his family or have them pay him a visit because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that came with it. He was thus homesick a fair bit throughout the season.
Ricciardo spoke up on drivers’ suppressed emotions, saying that no one realises what people like him go through.
“I think with anyone in the spotlight or anyone on TV, sometimes to the outside they are not seen as, like, real people,” he said, as quoted by Planet F1.
“It’s like, if you’re an actor…oh, that’s Brad Pitt. He’s superman. He could do anything or whatever. Like he doesn’t get sad or emotional or whatever. But as you know, you guys would feel it, we travel so much that you do miss loved ones. So having that kind of times 10 is tricky.
“I wouldn’t say it affects me in the act of driving. But particularly when maybe it doesn’t go well, then it definitely has an effect because all you want is some of that support and family love. And also when it doesn’t go well, you can also feel very lonely.”
“There are elements which I think they would have helped, if they were here,” he continued.
“It would have helped me to snap out of a bad mood or a low moment a bit quicker. With anything, to perform well you also need to be in a good headspace.
“Therefore your outside life needs to be going well, your relationships. It kind of all reflects on to your training, your energy, your mood.”