Daniel Ricciardo has admitted his preparation for the races leading up to the summer break may have been affected by the stressful process of deciding to leave Red Bull which often left him struggling for sleep.The WA driver shocked the Formula One world when he announced he would be joining Renault in 2019. Most expected him to stay with the Milton Keynes outfit or make the swap to Ferrari, who he had been heavily linked with.
The announcement came in the week following the Hungarian Grand Prix and shortly after a drop-off in performances following a blistering start to the season which saw him claim wins in Monaco and China.
Ricciardo’s three races in the lead-up to the Hungarian race saw two retirements and a fifth-place.
In an interview with ESPN, he admitted that the strain of the Renault decision had more of an impact on him mentally that he realised.
“At time, I didn’t think so,” Ricciardo told ESPN.
“I feel like even if I was to, say, trip and fall over on the way to the car and scratch all my arm, by the time I got in the car it would be blacked out in my head.
“I guess what would have affected – which you probably don’t think at a time – is when you’re away from the track and instead of getting eight hours sleep a night, you’re getting six hours sleep because your brain is ticking… for sure this has some form of an accumulated affect.
“Again, I think I am stronger than that and when I get in the car I am sweet, I am switched on, but maybe it did take a little bit away from me without me knowing.
“For sure there were nights where I didn’t sleep as I should have because I had a lot on my mind. Then that builds up and I was probably not as sharp as I once was.
Source: The West Australian