McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that the tripleheader has made him feel mentally “knackered”, in light of the end of the third consecutive race weekend in the form of the Austrian Grand Prix, in the longest-ever F1 season.
The 2021 calendar has three tripleheaders in whopping 23 races, a record for most races in a single season. With the complexities of modern F1 cars taking a physical toll on drivers, the relentless schedule only adds to their voes.
“Sunday night after the race it’s so hard to switch off, so you’re not sleeping great and then you’re playing catch up. And then Thursday, you’re back in and having that three weeks in a row, so you’re constantly playing catch up. I need a few good night’s sleep,” Ricciardo said.
The Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring was a part of the tripleheader, where Ricciardo recovered from a poor qualifying to finish P7 on Sunday. Regarding the matter, he said: “To be honest, the position [P7] somewhat didn’t really matter, it was just about getting in some battles and fighting, I think that was the important thing.”
Ricciardo has explained that exhaustion is more so mentally rather than physically due to being physically conditioned to the extreme conditions experienced while driving the cars themselves.
“It’s probably not so much physically, I think we’re all pretty conditioned now, especially when you get to drive the car more often. But just like mentally,” Ricciardo commented.
“I mean it was the same last year and I love staying busy with it, and kind of staying in that routine, but yeah, I’m knackered!”
Formula 1 goes off for a small break before resuming at Silverstone for the British GP on the 16th of July, where F1 will have its first-ever Sprint Qualifying session.