F1 returns to Monte Carlo this weekend for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as the event was canceled in 2020.
Monaco will allow a limited number of spectators to watch the event from the stands, but the principality is expected to be much quieter than usual.
With F1’s Blue Riband race being as much about off-track glamor as it is about action, Ricciardo feels a very different vibe this time around.
“The track itself is so intense that I think it will always be a 10 out of 10,” he said. “So the on-board equipment will always have these highs.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, leads Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34
Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images
“But the ramp up, when you walk through the crowd and then the fans to get into the pit lane and into the car, it’s already a bit chaotic before you get there.
“So your heart rate is already high and the circuit will do the rest for you. So maybe there will be a bit more calm before the storm.
“I’m so excited to go, but I’m also a little afraid that I won’t be too excited, because it’s that atmosphere and it’s all the aura of the boats and everyone, and the people on the trail at the end of the day drinking and partying.
“I guess not having this, or at this level, will probably feel a little empty to you. But as for the car, I think everything will be fine.
Ricciardo McLaren’s teammate Lando Norris agrees the mood will be different and the weekend will likely be little lacking in his previous show.
“I think this is the first street track we’re going back to since Covid,” he said. “In some ways we’ve gotten used to not having a lot of fans around now, but when you go to Monaco you know 50% of the excitement is everything else except the lap.
“So we’re sort of waiting to see. I’m sure it won’t be as glorious and spectacular as it used to be, but it’s definitely one of the best races.