Renault-Pilot Daniel Ricciardo took part in the Formula One race in Spa Francorchamps after the tragic events in the Formula-2 race in doubt.
Last night I wondered if it was really worth it,”says the Australian. In the end, he took part in the race when he saw Anthoine Hubert’s family in the Fahrerlager.
Hubert was part of the Renault junior program and therefore had intensive contact with the workshop team in Enstone. The loss of the talented Frenchman hit the Renault team particularly hard.
The usually cheerfully placed seven-time Grand Prix winner gives deep insights into his thoughts on the night from Saturday to Sunday: “Yes, it is our job and our life. But in the end, it’s still cars driving in circles. When you’re reminded of these things, you question them. Is it worth it? And I questioned it last night.”
Nevertheless, on Sunday he climbed into his Renault R.S.19:”I slept on it and this morning I saw a part of his family in the trailer park. It gave me more power than anything. How can they be here after… I have to pull my hat. I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine being in her situation. They were stronger than all of us.”
At the start everything is forgotten
In all possible races around the globe Hubert was thought. It is understood that we are a community,”Ricciardo finds.”We are a community.” There are rivalries and not everyone is green with everyone. But overall we are a community.”
“Unfortunately, it is always these things that bring us together, but it is nice to see that. It goes through all categories. The Formula-3 and Formula-2 drivers were with us in the starting position and. You realize that competition is one thing, but that there is more than that. One can quite easily put the competition in the background when something like this happens.”
competition there was of course also:”Once you put the helmet on, or better: If the race starts and the adrenaline flows, then you can banish it into the back of your head. But getting it all out of your head was impossible. When I went to the starting lineup, I was just sad. It was not a fear –if you have it, you should not drive a race.”
Collision at the start
The race was not satisfactory for the Renault with the starting number 3 because it was already at the start. Ricciardo was hit by Lance Stroll as he was hanging behind the slow-moving Max Verstappen.
“After that the floor on the complete right was missing. It wasn’t just damaged, it was completely gone! I actually thought I had to give up. The car felt quite shaky in Eau Rouge, to say the least. But we screwed up media and although the car was pretty bad to drive, the Pace of the others did not seem to be too strong.”
Ricciardo stayed in the points for a long time when the competition stopped. He dragged himself through without any more pit stops.” I couldn’t believe it in the meantime, and I thought maybe we’d get out of here with a few more points. But I had to hold my breath every round in Eau Rouge.”
But 42 rounds on the medium hard tyre proved to be too much. Towards the end he was run through and eventually fell out of the points. Ricciardo became an ungrateful elf. I’m proud of how long we held on, but in the end it just didn’t work out.”
Changing the tires again wouldn’t have made any sense either, because then the spot would be gone.” That would have changed nothing,”he is sure.
“To conclude: I’m just glad it’s over. I know today was the best way to honor him. But I don’t think any of us really wanted this race. I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.”
“It was hard to be here and make a brave face for everyone. I know it hurts a lot of people in this trailer park. I think we’re all glad it’s over. Hopefully this will be the last time something like this will happen.”