Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Ricciardo: I don’t think any of us wanted to race after Hubert crash

2019 Belgian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says he didn’t want to race at Spa following Anthoine Hubert’s fatal crash and suspects his rivals didn’t either.

The Renault driver said he was “glad the race is over” after finishing the Belgian Grand Prix in 14th.

“I know that, weirdly enough, the best way we can kind of show our respect was to race today,” said Ricciardo. “But I don’t think any of us actually wanted to be here or wanted to race.

“At least, I’m speaking for myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. It was certainly tough to be here and try to put on a brave face for everyone.

“I know a lot of people in the paddock are hurting after yesterday so I think everyone’s relieved it’s done, we can move on from here and hopefully it’s the last time that this happens.”

Ricciardo said he hadn’t been able to put thoughts of Saturday’s crash from his mind during the race.

“Once you get that adrenaline of the competition then you kind of put it towards the back. But to completely remove it today was impossible. It was still there.

“In the heat of competition, strangely enough, you’re able to pay more attention to the competition than what happened yesterday. But to completely remove it, it’s still so fresh.”

Hubert’s family came to the track on Sunday. Ricciardo said he had been inspired by their presence having questioned whether it was right to continue racing.

“It’s our job and it’s our profession and it’s our life but also still just racing cars around in circles. It gets to a point you actually question it and you’re reminded of these things, is it worth it? So I certainly questioned it last night, had a sleep.

“Then, to be honest, seeing some of his family here today that’s what gave me more strength than anything else. How they could be here after [it], taking my hat off to them doesn’t do it justice. I don’t know what to say. I could not imagine being in that position. I felt like they were a lot stronger than any of us today.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
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9 comments on “Ricciardo: I don’t think any of us wanted to race after Hubert crash”

    1. I should have added that I thought that Ricciardo’s words were a magnificent act of respect – to withdraw and not to race.
      Personally, I would not have criticised the F1 field if they had processed around in grid formation for the entire distance as a mark of respect.

  1. Why did Reno leave Dan out and not get him off those old tyres 20 laps from the finish?? The car had the pace to finish in the points

  2. After Dan Wheldon’s fatal crash in the Indycar race at Las Vegas Speedway in 2011 they decided to call off the rest of the race & I recall that many of the older generation in the paddock (Drivers, mechanics & media) were really against the decision given how they just used to carry on racing without really thinking about it.

    Mario Andretti was really vocal about it & AJ Foyt also made comments about how he’d have had no problem getting back in the car.

    There was a feeling by many long time members of the paddock that the ‘kids’ are too soft now & that in the past ‘men were men’ & all that. But the truth is that the younger generations don’t have to deal with death as often as the older guys did. When it’s something that’s happening as frequently as it was in the past you become desensitized to it to an extent. When it’s something you don’t have to deal with often then it hits you harder & is tougher to deal with.

    1. I remember reading how Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fitipaldi were villified by their peers for pushing improved safety standards and in extreme cases boycotting races due to unsafe conditions. So Andretti and Ickx never changed their “Macho” do or die attitude which has already claimed lives of many drivers on grid. Doesnt matter if 1 driver dies in a decade or dozen in a year(60s and 70s) its still an unnecesary loss of life which should be avoided or the risks of such incidents happening minimized to acceptable level. If drivers yesterday had decided not to race out of respect for Hubert no one should think of them any less.

      1. On the grid walk I’m sure I heard Martin Brundle say to Jackie Stewart that he’d (Stewart) raced through 57 deaths. I was a little shocked by how many it was over his career. Standards that he pushed for have really made the sport unrecognisable in terms of safety from when he raced.

        Death, even when a possible outcome of your chosen activity is never expected, nor easy to deal with.

    2. ’53 Argentina GP, a driver struck and killed a child, so he pitted to repair the radiator and ended up finishing the race….

  3. If you don’t wanna race, hand over the drive to someone who does.

    Ricciardo (1), isn’t that good, and (2) is obviously not motivated. Do you think Verstappen would’ve raced?of course he would have, because he’s got the motivation. Something Danny obviously lost some time ago.

    Dunno why people praise this guy so much, beyond the smile… As said above, some of these guys are too soft for their own Profession.

    Too many russels/norris’, not enough Webber’s.

    1. You’re ridiculous, mate.

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