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How a sim session reignited Ricciardo’s passion for F1

Without a race drive for 2023, Daniel Ricciardo has rejoined Red Bull in a test and reserve driver role that he claims has been surprisingly enjoyable so far.

DanielRicciardo has revealed that an early simulator session with Red Bull this yearhelped to reinvigorate and re-energise the Australian. A disappointing2022 season saw Ricciardo lose his drive with McLaren, and with no other suitablerace seats available for 2023, he instead took a reserve driver role at Red Bull,for whom he had previously raced between 2014 and 2018. The popularAustralian made his first appearance in an F1 paddock this year at his homerace in Melbourne last time out. Rreviously,Ricciardo had spent time at work in Red Bull’s simulator in Milton Keynes, andspoke of how surprisingly enjoyable and invigorating those first sessions hadbeen.

It was good to miss the simulator work - Ricciardo

"My first dayon the simulator with Red Bull this year was honestly probably the most funsimulator session I've ever had," Ricciardo told Speedcafe . "I hadn'tdriven really in close to three months, so it was all new and exciting, and Iwas back in an environment which I've obviously got a lot of fond memoriesfrom. "I felt it inthe room. Simon [Rennie], who was my engineer back in the day, was running thesession with me and we just giggled. We had such a good day. "Because thesim, it certainly feels like work, it has become work, especially as a racingdriver – you get into your work and you get out. "But Iremember I would do a session and someone's like, 'Oh, we can call it if you've hadenough laps'. "And I'mlike, 'Nah, one more lap'. Across the line, I'll do a bit better, 'One morelap!', so we kept joking that it was hard to pull me out. "That was alittle bit rare because the older I got, the more I just wanted to race anddidn't care so much about going to do a test or anything. "The realenjoyment was from competition, so for me to enjoy the simulator like thatmeant that it was good to miss it for a little while. "And being backin that environment is better than I thought it would be."

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