Daniel Ricciardo admits he didn’t want to race in the Belgian Grand Prix following the death of Renault academy driver Anthoine Hubert on Saturday.
Hubert was killed in a crash on the second lap of the Formula 2 feature race at the circuit, that took place shortly after the end of Formula 1 qualifying. While the F2 sprint race on Sunday was cancelled, F3 and F1 went ahead as planned, but Ricciardo admits he had doubted whether to take to the track.
“I’m glad that the race is over,” Ricciardo said. “I know that weirdly enough the best way we can show our respect is to race. But I don’t think that any of us actually wanted to be here or race. At least I am speaking for myself. But I’m sure I’m not the only one.
“It was certainly tough to be here and try and put on a brave face for everyone. A lot of people in the paddock are hurting. Everyone is relieved that it is done. We move on from here and hopefully it is the last time that this stuff happens.”
Ricciardo admits he was questioning whether to race on the Saturday evening following the incident, but took strength from Hubert’s family as his mother and brother stood on the grid on Sunday morning with the Frenchman’s helmet in tribute.
“You question is it really worth it? At the end of the day it is a simple question but a pretty honest one as well. It is our job and profession and our life, but also it is still just racing cars around in circles. So it gets to a point where you actually question it when you are reminded of these things — is it worth it?
“I certainly questioned it (on Saturday) night but then seeing some of his family here, that is what gave me more strength than anything else. How they could be here after … taking my hat off to them doesn’t do it justice. I could not imagine being in their position, and I felt that they were a lot stronger than any of us.”