The current pandemic has put an end to pretty much all sport and caused an uproar in the process. If you somehow weren’t aware, just take one look at the headlines regarding the Premier League in the UK and you’ll soon understand (Liverpool deserve the title btw).
It’s also brought a halt to the racing calendar, including Formula 1, although the high-profile racing series is confident it will be able to kick off the season in July before culminating in December. Of course, those plans are subject to change depending on the global situation.
To help pass the time, some drivers have been getting in on the virtual racing action to keep their racing brains active. Lando Norris, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon are just a few of the big names joining the races, which take place on virtual replicas of tracks on the regular Formula One calendar.
There’s no multi-million prize fund on offer, nor are there trophies, but it’s designed to be a bit of fun, as drivers battle it out on the virtual track with ‘regular’ e-sports racers. But one man who has said ‘no thanks’ to virtual racing is Australian racing poster-boy Daniel Ricciardo. According to F1i.com, the man from Perth has decided to head to his family farm to train his whole body, as opposed to just his thumbs.
Part of the reason the current Renault driver has said no to sim-racing is that he knows he’ll become a bit too addicted to it, “I just know with my competitive nature, if I got one, I’m going to be spending hours on it a day,” he told The New Daily.
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“And before you know, I’m missing training sessions racing these sims, and I feel that the training is more productive.”
That last statement is certainly one we can agree with, as Ricciardo has posted some of his recent training sessions on Instagram, and it’s clear he wants his body to be in fighting fit shape for if and when the F1 season does return. “I’m missing the racing and I’ve got that bug in me that I just want to go again, so I’m staying ready and that’s kind of my driving purpose.”
We imagine Daniel wants to keep his mind and body in the best shape possible to keep his reflexes sharp and his stamina levels high to help see him through the races. He doesn’t want to be sat in a racing simulator chowing down on snacks and soft drinks.
The Aussie driver is also trying to make the best of a bad situation during the lockdown and getting outdoors as much as possible to help around the farm, “I think I’m quite lucky to be on the farm. I’m not locked in an apartment with only really my phone or the internet as an escape,” he added.
“I’ve even tried to introduce some phone detox days, where you don’t really use your phone because hours can go by and I don’t really want to get indulged too much in that.”
The virtual Formula One series is scheduled to finish this month, but the group has said it will continue to run it should the global pandemic cause more races to be postponed or cancelled. You can follow the races live or catch-up on past races on the official Formula 1 YouTube page.