Abroad for nearly two years, the effects of being away from home last season had started to affect Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.
After the native Perth returned to Australia after the tests at the end of the season in Yas Marina, he hadn’t set foot on home soil since the Australian Grand Prix 2020, which was canceled.
Ricciardo spent the last two seasons traveling abroad and did not visit friends and family down under in order not to have to comply with Australia’s strict quarantine regulations.
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After a difficult first year with the new McLaren team, Ricciardo revealed his struggle for the McLaren MCL35M’s unique driving style, coupled with a growing homesickness that led to his greatest personal growth in Formula 1.
“One of those was the challenges I faced with the car and obviously trying to cope with it and then I think the other was obviously away from home,” he said Speedcafe.com.
After Ricciardo admitted that being on the road for such a long time took its toll, he repeated again that he just wanted a hug from his mother.
“I just don’t have the home comforts or family environment that you’re used to,” he said.
“Sometimes I think when you live at home you don’t really notice it because it’s always in front of you.
“But when I left Australia and moved away from my family, of course you notice it more.
“But now, if you haven’t seen her for so long, it’s a bigger deal.
“It definitely made me appreciate other things in life, not just racing, and I think that has given me a lot of growth.”
Ricciardo finished eighth in the drivers’ championship last season, behind his team-mate Lando Norris.
The 32-year-old was battling for points at the end of 2021 and only collected points once in his last five races.
McLaren dropped to fourth place in the constructors’ championship after a tough battle with Ferrari.
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