Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo is expecting the first race of the 2020 Formula 1 season to be “chaos” following a prolonged spell without racing.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has decimated plans for the 2020 F1 season and forced the opening 10 races to be called off.

Championship bosses hope to start the season with a series of behind closed doors races in Europe, beginning with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5.

If the plan is successful, it would have been more than four months since drivers last drove their F1 cars in pre-season testing and seven since they last raced competitively at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“[It will be] some form of chaos, hopefully in a controlled manner," Ricciardo told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I am not really referencing cars everywhere. But there is going to be so much rust, a combination of emotion, excitement, eagerness.

"Everyone is going to be ready to go. You are going to get some guys who perform on that level of adrenalin and others who might not.

“So you're going to get some bold overtakes, some miscalculated ones. You're going to see a bit of everything, I'm sure.”

George Russell believes potential rustiness from drivers will provide Williams with “an opportunity” during the early rounds of the season, but Ricciardo reckons the less-experienced drivers on the grid will feel the impact of the enforced break more.

Asked if he thinks it will take time for his body to adjust to driving again, Ricciardo replied: “If this was my first year or two in F1, if I was still not completely adapted to it, my answer would be yes.

"But winter testing is normally a good reference point. My first few winter testings, day one always felt like a bit of a shock to the system again. And the further my career has gone on, the less of a shock that has been.

"The rookies, the first-year, second-year guys, will feel it a little bit more."

 

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