Ricciardo says his Monza win “reassured everyone” at McLaren

2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo believes his breakthrough victory for McLaren at Monza has given everyone added confidence in him following a difficult start to his first season with the team.

He said his first win for three years last weekend was motivated by his frustration after qualifying on Friday.

Ricciardo admitted he’d “been playing catch-up because it’s started a bit on the back foot” in the first half of the season. “That’s through no fault of anyone’s, it’s just me trying to adapt to the car and team.

“They’ve been really supportive throughout and I think that’s been some of the internal frustration, that everything around me feels great it’s just the results weren’t there to kind of complete the picture.

“So then August break, just getting away from it, I think was a chance to just like also decompress, switch off and reset. And coming into Belgium I just already felt like personally more kind of game for it. And with that I kind of drew some confidence.

“Then at Monza I felt like from first practice the car felt pretty good. I thought we could be on here. And then again, drew more confidence from that.”

However he was disappointed to end Friday’s qualifying session in fifth place, three-hundredths of a second away from third on the grid.

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“On Friday evening I was pretty dark after the qualifying,” said Ricciardo. “It was like just something in me. I was like, I just don’t want to be here anymore in terms of I want to win, I want to be the guy. Being close just fuelled me more than anything.

“It was good and the team were like ‘it’s a good session, you should be happy’. And I appreciate that relative to this year it was a good session.

Ricciardo celebrated his win at McLaren’s headquarters
“But that’s when the competitor in me just really came out. I can’t even explain it, but it was just like something like a burning feeling inside of me. And I was just like, no, it’s not good enough. I was like ‘blinkers on’ for the rest of the weekend.

“It’s easy to say now because I won but honestly there was something that came over me, particularly after Friday evening. I was just a man on a mission.”

Ricciardo said he felt a new “intensity” in his approach from then on. “I’ve definitely carried confidence through race weekends and it has been there at moments for sure, but not to that level.”

He is confident he will be able to continue operating at the level of competitiveness he showed at Monza.

“After the weekend I don’t think it’s like I need to tap into that place all the time to get it out of myself,” said Ricciardo. “I think I drew a lot of confidence from that weekend.

“Also the team a lot of them have supported me and believed in me from the start but the weekend kind of just reassured everyone. So I think as a team moving forward, we can be quietly confident.”

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Keith Collantine
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25 comments on “Ricciardo says his Monza win “reassured everyone” at McLaren”

  1. Great moment for Daniel and McLaren. That trophy looked a lot better up close when Daniel was putting it next to the Aledaide trophy from Senna’s victory (that’s a cool trophy too).

  2. I’m a huge fan of Dan. It was a great win. 2021has its fifth different grand prix winner. all good…

    But my sense is he hasn’t closed the gap to Lando in certain areas. There will be some tracks where we see the 0.300s deficit again

    1. I’d have to agree about the gap to Lando, one win does not a trend make.
      If Dan carries that confidence into the next grand prix and Lando gaps him by half a second in quali, then what happens?
      I think we need to see how it plays out on some different tracks before we say he is fully confident in the car.

      I’ve always felt that we only see the full talent of Dan come to the surface when there is a real possibility of a Win or a pole. When he was with Max in 2018, he seemed happy enough to come 2nd to Max in Qualifying, or the race, when they were fighting for 5th or 6th but stepped up if the car and team had a real chance, like Monaco and Mexico, which I think were the only times he out qualified Max in 2018 but they were both poles. Just not convinced he brings the same level of intensity every weekend.

      I always felt Mark Webber was a bit similar except he needed to come to a track he liked and then we saw his “A” Game.

      1. That’s true, an interesting thing about ricciardo.

      2. Lokking at Ricciardo’s season between 2012 and 2016, and 2019 and 2020, that hardly applies…

  3. It was a nice gesture from mclaren giving him the win . And very mqture reaction from norris, understanding why riciardo needed this

    1. McLaren hardly gave him the win. It’s not remotely clear that Norris could have passed him; Ricciardo obviously had pace in hand (fastest lap on the final tour confirms that) and he was able to resist pressure from Verstappen in a dramatically faster car.
      I agree Norris handled it well, in that he asked the team if he could fight for position and was compliant when they said ‘no’. But there was no point in the race where Norris showed he had pace that Ricciardo could not match.

    2. If Norris deserved that win he should’ve done better in qualifying and the sprint race and the race start.

      He’ll get there, but to beat Ricciardo he needs to make another step.

      1. Well, he’s probably verstappen-like talented, so he will probably beat ricciardo more often than not, but ricciardo is still a strong driver, who on top of his game could outperform verstappen on occasion back then, and at monza he seemed simply better most of the weekend.

      2. Given how relatively easily Ricciardo was passed the few times recently that it was key for him to keep someone behind @sjaakfoo, I think it was wise to keep Norris as the rearguard, since he has shown us in the last 2 years that he can do a really good job of keeping the faster cars behind!

        1. Laughable. The better driver on the weekend got the most out of the car and took home the trophy.

    3. I agree. If not leading they would have swapped the cars to enable Lando to show his true speed

      1. It was slower than Dan’s.

        Reply moderated
    4. I agree with both bookgrub and sjaakfoo.

      Team orders are not exclusive of teams fighting for the championships. There are countless examples of this. From the Jordan 1-2 in Belgium 1998 to the Alfa Romeo in Italy 2021 telling Kubica to let Giovinazzi pass.
      Ricciardo was on his way to win having defender against Verstappen through all the first stint. Why should McLaren risk a 1-2?

      In fact, if I understood the radio, it was Norris who proactively asked if the order was to keep. The rules of this sports are obvious and Norris understood them well. A not regular winning team on the verge to win, or to get a one-two, can’t risk it for the sake of letting their drivers fight.

    5. Actually, in Toscania and Made in Italy Something 2021, McLaren ordered Ricciardo to let Norris pass. It was obvious Norris was quicker. Given the facts, it was not obvious the same was happening in Monza, quite the opposite. Ricciardo ended up making the fastest lap of the race.

    6. I have an opinion
      17th September 2021, 11:13

      It was a nice gesture from McLaren, giving him a competitve car, competent strategy and good pitstop to allow him to earn a win. And very mature reaction from Norris, understanding what it will take to win a race some day.

      Now, if you want to talk about conspiracy theories and orchestrated wins, you need to mention Ecclestone’s and Mateschitz’s hand in this.

    7. Ok…i will spend tge time to say you are funny :-).

  4. I really like Danny Ric :-)
    Just all round good guy.

  5. Ricciardo’s slow start and up in the form at McLaren is the most interesting mystery of today’s F1. I can’t remember of no other similar example of sudden change in form, either up or down. Even Vettel’s loss of shape in the hybrid era (starting in the comparison with Ricciardo) was not so sudden and evident.
    Raikkonen’s apparent loss of knife-edge efficiency from 2007 onwards is what looks the most similar to me. Eventually someone hinted that Raikkonen was at his best due to the tyre war.
    Ricciardo says the he needed to stop, breathe and think. Let’s hope Histoty vindicates this or finds out something more. It’s up to the professional dedicated reporters.

  6. Now I’m an Australian and a Ricciardo fan however his win at Monza reminded me of when I used to play the codemasters f1 games and restart the race until I managed to get into first after the first corner and block everyone until I win. I think I’d feel better about his win if he was able to pull out a gap rather than lead a road train.

    1. Study the Grand Prix of Hungary of 1990 and 1991. I won’t mention Monaco 2018 because it’s recent (not because it was Ricciardo too).
      You should be very proud of your Australian mate. Winning races by leading a train is part, a big part of the sport. In fact, for fans looking for emotion, a train ensures that the leader can’t make no mistake until the last corner, otherwise he will be passed – rather than having Michael Schumacher slowing a few tenths every lap of the final 20 laps just for caution.
      You should be even more proud due to the terrible first half of season he had, being proof that great drivers overcome difficulties.

      1. Thank you Jose I’ll look into those races you mentioned, I was only a child back then so I cannot remember much of the time. I am proud of him and I guess I shouldn’t diminish his accomplishment, he has done well to keep working and overcome his difficulties rather than let them bury him. I’ll just note that it still feels like Norris still has the edge over him and I’d rest easier if he did well at a tight twisty track for once, he only seems to get decent performance out of the McLaren at fast tracks like Monza and Silverstone.

  7. Good win. However Lando has looked better than Danny all season. This is a genuine problem he is going to have to sort out. Can’t keep qualifying half a second behind his teammate.

  8. Good for Ricciardo he got this one and it will help raising Lando’s level even more. I think I would have switched the cars however given Lando’s form & pace and the fact he is the future of the team and ahead in the championship. He could still beat Bottas and frankly the team didnt do him a favour after the lead role he has shown all year.

    Looking forward to next year having Lando, Charles, George & Max in 4 of probably the most competitive cars. This 4 way battle has the potential to become great. Hopefully Vettel, Ricciardo and Lewis will follow Kimi’s example very soon and not be a stand in the way (especially the off track antics of Lewis won’t be missed) for this golden era to come. I personally can’t wait to quit with this generation of cars where the domination determined the last 2 decades of results in a never seen, unprecedented way. Let’s move forward!

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