Daniel Ricciardo Admits Falling ‘Out of Love With the Sport’ Amidst Tough McLaren F1 Days

Published 06/17/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


It hasn’t been a fairytale start for Daniel Ricciardo with the McLaren F1 team this season under the pressures of high expectations.

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The Australian has certainly looked rather out of shape and is still finding his way around the team after 6 race weekends. As things stand, the Honey Badger is barely clinging onto the Top-10, having secured a meager 26 points as opposed to his teammate’s 66.

Amidst such a start to the 2021 campaign, Ricciardo reckoned that he has been in this position in the past. What’s more, the Australian also went on to acknowledge that he would consequently start falling out of love for the sport.

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What did Daniel Ricciardo say?

Speaking to F1‘s Lawrence Barretto, Ricciardo opened up about his difficult debut season with the McLaren F1 team. “I’ve been here before, whether it’s to this level, or not, whether it was in F1 or not,” he said.

Naturally you always have these highs and lows. I fall out of love with the sport at least once a year! It’s always done this [to me] and it will probably keep doing that.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 22, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Similar to his ongoing phase with McLaren, his initial days with his preceding team, Renault, weren’t convincing either.

Hence, it definitely implied that Ricciardo would take his own sweet time to get a feel around his car. However, once he manages to break past that particular barrier, he would be an unstoppable force.

So, now that Ricciardo has spent almost 3 months on the track with McLaren, it is only a matter of time before he starts delivering lap times, challenging enough to give Lando Norris a hard time.

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I find perspective in the bad days: Ricciardo

The Honey Badger opened up that he always had the ability to move on from a tough weekend quite rapidly, and start devoting his focus to the follow-up weekend.

But the good thing with me is I’m always able to wake up Monday morning, after say a [tough race like] Monaco, and be full steam ahead again. I’m down in the dumps for the next week,” he said.

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Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Clive Rose

I’ll be sad if I need to on Sunday night but then I wake up Monday morning with a fresh motivation. I’ll say to myself: ‘This feeling, I don’t like it. What am I going to do to change it?’ I definitely find perspective in the bad days.

Overall, boasting of such a positive mindset, it wouldn’t necessarily be a difficult task for Ricciardo to bounce back. Hence, can Ricciardo finally unleash his true pace over the upcoming race weekend in France? Well, only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

943 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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