Australian Daniel Ricciardo has struggled to hold back tears at the Belgian Grand Prix, admiting that he had considered not racing less than 24 hours after Anthoine Hubert's passing.
"I'm glad today is over," Ricciardo said. "I'm glad the race is over.”
Ricciardo admitted that he had considered sitting out the race, before drawing from the strength of Hubert’s family.
"Yeah, last night, absolutely," he said.
"You question, 'Is it really worth it?' for sure. Because at the end of the day, it's a simple question, but it's a pretty honest one as well.
"Yeah, it's our job and it's our profession and it's our life, but also it's still just racing cars around in circles.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 1, 2019
"To be honest, seeing some of his family here today, that's what gave me more strength than anything else.
"Taking my hat off to them doesn't do it justice. I don't know what to say.
"I could not imagine being in their position, I felt they were a lot stronger than any of us today."
Despite Ricciardo’s reluctance to race the Australian honoured the memory of junior Renault driver Hubert, unfortunately a first-lap incident between Riccardo and Lance Stroll saw the Renault driver fall to the back of the grid.
With floor and tyre damage Ricciardo returned to the pits at the end of lap one, Renault then deciding to adopt a one-stop strategy that had the Australian running as high as P7 throughout the race.
Tyre degradation hampered the Australian in the closing stages of the race, seeing Ricciardo freefall through the grid, eventually finishing P14.
Race winner Charles Leclerc dedicated his maiden F1® victory to Hubert, with Mercedes pair Lewis Hamitlon and Valtteri Bottas closing out the podium in P2 and P3.
Riccardo returns to the track this coming weekend at Monza, 6-8 September.