Ricciardo feared racing while not at his best could be “dangerous” RaceFans

In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo said he has decided to accept a non-racing role in Formula 1 next year after his enthusiasm for competing dipped during his unsuccessful second season at McLaren.

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In short

Ricciardo feared not competing at his best

Red Bull confirmed on Wednesday Ricciardo will return to join them as their third driver for the 2023 F1 season. Ricciardo was released from his McLaren contract a year early for performance reasons, and said he felt the need for a break afterwards.

“As the second half of the season went on, I just needed to step away for a bit, rebuild myself, reset a bit, and also just find the intense love for it,” he told Speedcafe. “Because, at this level, if you don’t have that, then I’m not doing justice for myself or anyone around me.

“I’m not saying I’ve lost it, but I’m in fear of losing it.”

Ricciardo added he was concerned of the potential risks of competing if he did not feel able to give his best.

Yes, [F1 drivers] are really good at what we do, but we’re also still human and we still get tired, exhausted, fatigued. And at this level of sport, that is dangerous – you can’t be operating at 99 percent, even.

“So I really felt I was in fear of not being at my best if I did another year.”

Doohan tops second F2 test day despite clash with Maini

Virtuosi driver Jack Doohan was fastest in the second day of post-season Formula 2 testing at the Yas Marina circuit despite making contact with Kush Maini.

Doohan’s best time of a 1’35.99o in the morning session saw him the day fastest of the 22 drivers, ahead of Jehan Daruvala of MP Motorsport and Ayumu Iwasa of DAMS.

In the evening session, Frederik Vesti set the fastest time but was slower than Doohan’s earlier best. The session had to be stopped temporarily after Doohan and Maini collided but resumed later. The third and final day of the test takes place tomorrow.

Junior kart champion Tarnvanichkul set to join Red Bull

World junior karting champion Enzo Tarnvanichkul has announced he will join the Red Bull junior driver program next season.

The 13-year-old announced in a post on social media that he will sign as a Red Bull junior next year. Tarnvanichkul won the OK Junior world title in September and said he would “try to deliver on track and develop my career with the very best.”

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