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Ricciardo and Magnussen say they have a 'new appreciation' for F1 after breaks from the sport

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Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo believe their time spent away from the F1 grid has given them a newfound “appreciation” for the sport, after previously falling out of love with life in Formula 1.

After six seasons in F1 – driving for McLaren and Renault previously – Magnussen lost his place at Haas at the end of the 2020 season, going off to race in the Sportscar Championship and the IndyCar series.

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However, after a year out, he received a call up from Haas on the eve of the 2022 campaign to return and, having recently signed a contract extension with the American outfit, he is set to be a part of the team for the 2024 season at least.

“I think for me, it was different when I came back in a way,” said Magnussen, when asked if has a new love for F1. “Having been out of the sport – not completely, I was still racing but in sports cars – and I think just getting away from it, seeing it from the outside, thinking about it from the outside, and then coming back in.

“I think, in those years before that, maybe I'd lost a little bit of the… maybe a little bit of love for Formula 1. I think you get through the junior categories and it's one thing, and you get to Formula 1 and it's different.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 26: Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1

Magnussen returned to Haas at the start of 2022 and signed an extension to remain with them for 2024

“For some people, of course, they come into Formula 1 after their junior career, and they just get straight into success there. But I didn't, I had many years… well, I had six seasons or something before that break, of not winning at all.

“So, I think I'd maybe fallen out of love a little bit, and then kind of had that year out, missed it, and then came back and had a new appreciation for it.”

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Ricciardo, on the other hand, sat out the first half of the 2023 season as Red Bull’s reserve driver before replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri in Hungary. This came after he lost his place on the grid after enduring two difficult seasons at McLaren.

“I think Kevin made… a lot of those feelings were felt for me as well,” he added. “I think being away from it, yes, it's really that. It should be the coolest thing that we do, right?

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“But when you've done it your whole life, and obviously, when you go through… when you're winning, it's kind of easy, but when you're not, obviously, you go through some other challenging moments where you can become a little bit frustrated with it.

“And then obviously, on a competitive side, your confidence takes a hit. So, then you're kind of asking yourself more questions. And then, I think 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.

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“I just, I think having the time off was... it gave me the answer of how much I do love it, ultimately – how much it means to me. And I think that's also where, coming into now, I feel like I got a second chance, a second wind, where it's okay.

“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.

“So, yeah, [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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