Daniel Ricciardo is ready to 'return' to the F1 scene as an Alpha Tauri driver, after serving as Red Bull's third driver. Many wonder what Ricciardo's plans are for the future, and whether he plans to retire. Ricciardo dreams of winning the title, and he still doesn't know if he would decide to end his career after that.
“If I am a world champion, I don’t know if I’ll be retired, because that would mean that things are going well,” he said. “But then I do look at some sports, I follow UFC a lot and a lot of fighters do stay a bit too long and their career kind of tapers.
There is something kind of cool about going out on top. Then I look at [Nico] Rosberg and I get it, but it also felt like maybe one year too early. So it’s hard to find that balance. If I was to win a world title next year, no I wouldn’t retire.
But if I was to win one in five years, maybe then I’d be like ‘that’s a great way to sign off’”.
Athletes and retirement
A large number of athletes have the difficulty of imagining themselves without 'their' sport, Ricciardo believes.
It is difficult to adjust to a new lifestyle when one's life is devoted to training, preparations, and everything related to that sport. There is a lot of speculation about Lewis Hamilton's retirement. “I think this is the case with many athletes, and I’m not saying this is the case with Lewis or anyone else, but in general, I think there’s a lot who are probably scared of retirement,” Ricciardo said talking about Hamilton.
“When you’ve lived on this awesome, euphoric level for so long, the thought of losing that is maybe scary. And I understand that. As long as that’s not the thing stopping you from retiring then you are okay.
If you are kind of hanging onto the sport because you are scared of what happens next, then that’s where it’s maybe it’s like it’s getting a bit long. I think that’s one thing where, speaking of me personally, this year I feel a lot more comfort about the day I do officially retire.
I’m not scared about retirement. " Ricciardo also had advice for young drivers who are just coming to the big stage. He stressed that every individual must have a life outside of F1 and different hobbies. When you have a 'life' outside the F1 scene and all the pressure that comes with it, it's much easier for you.
“I’ve had a really fun year, I’ve done things. Life after racing is totally good and I’ve got other hobbies and interests. I don’t think that’s a daunting thought for me. But it’s important, especially for young kids coming up.
Of course you have to put your heart and soul into the sport, but try to have something or create something beyond racing so you don’t feel like a fish out of water. Life advice!”
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