The opening eight races of the 2020 season have all been called off as a result of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, with the events in Australia and Monaco being cancelled completely.
Monaco’s cancellation was confirmed last Thursday, marking the first time since 1954 the principality will not host a grand prix.
With most countries now enforcing self-isolation and lockdown on the public, F1 drivers have returned home where they continue with their training programmes.
Speaking in a Q&A on Renault’s Instagram on Wednesday, Ricciardo said that while he was not yet thinking too much on when he would return to racing, the news of Monaco’s cancellation had been particularly bitter.
“I’m not like racing laps in my head yet, because I don’t know what track we’re going to be racing on,” 2018 Monaco winner Ricciardo said.
“I watched an onboard of Monaco last night and got a bit sad. I don’t really know where we’re going to be. That one hurt me.
“They’re all going to hurt, for sure, Melbourne being so close as well. The reality is setting in, unfortunately.”
F1 chief Chase Carey recently said he anticipated a 15-18 race calendar for 2020 that would start in the summer and extend into December.
The Canadian Grand Prix on June 14 currently stands as the opening race yet to be called off, but doubts still remain when F1 will return as sporting events as far away as August – such as the Tokyo Olympics – continue to be postponed.
Asked how the first race back would unfold after so long off-track, Ricciardo said: “It’s gonna get real.
“I’m thinking of qualifying last, because I think Turn 1 is just going to be mayhem.
“I’ll just watch it all unfold, and then I’ll lead the first lap. I’ll put it on pole and voluntarily start last!”
Ricciardo has been posting regular videos on social media of his training outings in Australia as he continues to work remotely with performance coach Michael Italiano.
“Training’s definitely the thing that’s keeping me with that competitive mindset,” Ricciardo said. “You get a bit of anger out when you train, so that’s been my medicine for now.
“I feel like now is kind of perfect to get in shape. We’re forced to stay in, there’s no jet lag, there’s no airports, we can really create like a training camp which we don’t always have.
“It’s been nice knowing we’ve got time, we don’t have to rush it. I think you’re going to see a lot of drivers and people in general, whenever this is over, all pretty fit I hope.”