Daniel Ricciardo believes his time spent out of a full-time drive in Formula 1 gave him a "second wind" and motivation to continue.
The Australian was ousted from his seat at McLaren at the end of the 2022 season due to a run of poor performance, but made a comeback to former team Red Bull as their official third driver.
After six months out of the car, he made a return when AlphaTauri decided to replace the underperforming Nyck de Vries. It was only two races before Ricciardo had to sit on the sidelines again, when he injured his hand following a freak accident during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.
After withdrawing for five races, he made a second comeback at the US GP for the remainder of the season, finishing a highest position of seventh at the Mexican GP.
When asked about how his time out of the car impacted his appreciation for F1 and the demands, Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365: "Having the time off gave me the answer of how much I do love it, ultimately. How much it means to me.
"Coming into now, I feel like I got a second chance, a second wind. I want to make sure this is my one and only priority, I'm going to put all my energy into this. Because I just don't want to walk away one day and be like, ‘could have done more’ or, ‘that career slipped a little bit out of my fingers’. I'd hate to feel that.
"It gave me a new perspective, which is really cool. I’d say I’d recommend it to everyone! I mean, obviously everyone's on their own kind of path but I can't believe how much I've enjoyed the second half the season. It's pretty crazy what six months can do."
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Ricciardo: When you're winning, its easy
Following his move away from McLaren, Ricciardo revealed that he was in a better place mentally.
He felt the lack of success ultimately contributed to a lot of his self doubt when going through a rough patch at McLaren.
"When you're winning, it's kind of easy, but when you're not you go through some other challenging moments where you can become a little bit frustrated with it," said Ricciardo.
"Then obviously, on a competitive side, your confidence takes a hit. Then you're kind of asking yourself more questions.
"That also makes you question the love for it, then maybe you're not as hungry and the other sides of the sport, in terms of preparation."