Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Ricciardo still has “fire” to succeed in F1 despite losing McLaren drive

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says he still has the “fire” to race in Formula 1 despite having his contract with McLaren terminated with one year left to run.

McLaren confirmed yesterday the 33-year-old would be let go from the team at the end of the 2022 season, two years into his three-year contract. Ricciardo admitted having his contract terminated by the team was “not the nicest feeling” but said he is proud of how he and McLaren worked together to try and find a solution to his lack of performance relative to team mate Lando Norris.

“I look back on it and I can hold my head high in terms of applying myself and trying to make it work, trying to put everything in,” Ricciardo said.

“Sometimes you just have to accept that ‘okay, I tried and it didn’t necessarily work out’. But from that point of view, I don’t look back in terms of ‘yeah, I was slacking off’. It’s just one of those things. I’m proud of the way we tried to make it happen and persist through it. But some things, maybe you just say that they’re not meant to be.”

Despite the setback, Ricciardo says he is still motivated to race and succeed in Formula 1 into the future with another team.

“I simply see it as ‘if I want to pick myself up. I will.’ That fire, that belief is still in me. So it’s really just a choice – if I want to make that choice, I can. Obviously I don’t have every option on the grid or anything – it’s not like I can race wherever I want – but in terms of just from a self-worth point of view, absolutely.”

Ricciardo said his experience of difficult moments earlier in his racing career will help him to “pick myself up” after losing his drive.

“I don’t want to say it’s easy, but it’s something I feel I’m very capable of doing,” he explained. “This is certainly a big moment in time for my career, but even if things aren’t maybe always highlighted, you’re always going through challenges. You always have to pick yourself up.

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“I remember actually here in 2008 when I was racing in the Formula Renault junior category, it was the Saturday night before the race on Sunday and I got a real pep talk. I was just in one of those moments in my career at the time and I still hadn’t yet made it, but I knew I really had to pull my head in and start making it happen.

“You always go through these. No one has a perfect career. So I think I’ve learnt to deal with it over time.”

With nine races remaining with McLaren before his time with the team comes to an end, Ricciardo says knowing that he will be departing the team will not change how he will approach the final leg of the season.

“It’s a decision they’ve made but it doesn’t change the way I’m going to go racing,” Ricciardo said. “I only know how to race one way.

“I went in to see the team, because I hadn’t really seen them – I had simulator during the week – so I saw a few engineers, but I hadn’t seen the wider team. I saw the mechanics and that this morning. There’s a lot of hugs. A lot of people obviously want me to do well and they’re going to support me till the end. So that’s that.

“As I say, I owe it to myself, but also to the ones who support and want me to do well. There’s no better feeling than success in this sport and being up on the podium and that. So I know if I apply myself, then maybe we find a way to do it in the last nine races.”

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2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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9 comments on “Ricciardo still has “fire” to succeed in F1 despite losing McLaren drive”

  1. Daniel has been saying the same stuff for 1 1/2 years.

    Daniel’s driving has talked much louder, though.

    And, eventually, he did give up his contract for money, which tells you everything you should need as a team principal.

    1. Actually, your comment it says more about your lack of knowledge about how contracts work than anything else.

      1. So it’s really just a choice – if I want to make that choice, I can.

        He chose a cheque over racing in F1.

        That is all.

  2. My thoughts are F1 always saw his shoeys as something of an embarrassment.

    Celebrities and royalties invited to drink from his sweaty shoes…. no one was safe with that man on the podium.

    Now Monocans and gentlefolks can sleep safetly without that dread of Riccardo’s shoey.

    1. The F1 of old maybe, but modern F1 love it because it creates headlines and reaches a greater audience. F1’s own social media channels have referenced it many times.

      In the words of Jake Peralta: “Ya boring!”

  3. I am a fan of the formula 1 sport, so am not bashing or denigrating any drivers, the reality is while Ricciardo is a good guy and has potential, his performance is way below what is expected and a huge large difference from fellow racer Lando Norris. So, we all know, and they do too, in F1 to get and keep a seat points are the indicators and not the intentions. Thats how they are paid, and you cannot continue to get paid the same when your results are very low. Thus, is fair that he leaves to leave space to someone else. I think Lando Norris put it quiet simply in this article: https://10play.com.au/theproject/articles/no-sympathy-from-lando-norris-after-mclaren-announces-ricciardo-exit/tpa220826vqzby?fbclid=IwAR1kjTJ7oA9K4zQAFTWe595RPwa0fvhKsd9QV2eFC2SGejzj0bD6pjNfqas. So, if Ricciardo is sad, believe me, he gets a good salary next year, something that none of in this forum will ever dream, to be paid for an entire year without working? It’s fair he gets paid coz that is the contract, but am sure there is no reason to be sad!

  4. As a bit of a RIC fan, I am baffled and disappointed by his performance during his stint at McLaren.

    RIC finally had Mercedes power underneath his right foot, I know this season it’s no longer the best engine, but in 2021 he had the very thing he wanted since before he even left RB.

    I know he hasn’t forgot how to drive, I still think of him as one of the better drivers on the grid, but his time in the McLaren has put some dents in his shiny armor. I just hope he gets a decent drive for next year, and is back to dominating his teammate.

    I hope we get to see if the sparks between Ocon and Ricciardo shine even brighter than they did with Ocon v. Perez.

  5. He jumped ships way too often. Sometimes patience is a virtue.
    His shoe-eys were disgusting anyways.
    I don’t see any other team taking him onboard with the price he is asking and the performance he gives in return .

    1. You didn’t have to drink his shoeys, so what’s the problem? Look away if you’re that sensitive.

      His stock has clearly gone down, so he knows he can’t command the same money he did previously. Given his contract payout, he could even take a pay cut (down to zero even) to make himself a very enticing offer and maintain a slot on the grid.

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