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Ricciardo labels 2018 as his "weirdest season" in racing

  • Published on 26 Sep 2018 14:57
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo has described his 2018 season as the weirdest year he's ever had in racing. The Australian drove a masterful race in China at the start of the season to take victory, before dominating proceeding in Monaco, taking the win despite running with an engine issue.

After months of speculation about his future, Ricciardo shocked the paddock when he announced he would joining Renault in 2019, right when he looked set to extend his deal with Red Bull. 

Speaking about his season so far, the 29-year-old said: "It’s been the weirdest season I’ve had in racing!  Winning two of the first six races is probably the strongest start I’ve ever had to an F1 season. After Monaco, I was thinking that the season looked very promising, and that we might even be in with an outside chance of fighting for the title.

"I still feel I’m driving well and applying myself properly but for all sorts of reasons it hasn’t really worked out since then. My confidence has never dipped – but my motivation and love for the sport has been a bit up and down – though I tend to bounce back from that pretty quickly."

Ricciardo described his move to Renault as a fresh start, penning a two-year deal with the French squad. However, he admits that he doesn't think he'll understand the full scope of departing Red Bull until after the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

"It feels mostly real, but honestly, I think when the chequered flag drops in Abu Dhabi, and I take off the Red Bull overalls for the last time, that’s when it’s going to hit me," Ricciardo said.

"It’s not so much the ‘moving to Renault’ part, as it is the ‘closing the book on this part of my career’ bit. From an emotional point of view, that’s when it’s going to hit me.

"I’ve been wearing a Red Bull helmet for over a decade now. It’s been a fun journey and we’re certainly not splitting on bad terms. I’m ready for something new. I’m going to be 30 next year and I felt like it was time for the next part of my adulthood. It may sound silly but, having been with Red Bull for so long, I felt it was time I made a decision for myself and put myself out there.

"It’s been a very good journey with Red Bull but sometimes it has been very easy because everything is so familiar. It would be easy to slip into some form of complacency, get stuck in a routine. I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted to challenge myself again."

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  • Team Renault
  • Points 764
  • Podiums 21
  • Grand Prix 100
  • Country Australia
  • Date of b. Jul 1 1989 (30)
  • Place of b. Perth, Australia
  • Weight 64 kg
  • Length 1.75 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
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Spain
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Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
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Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
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Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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