Daniel Ricciardo Confused How Public Perception Has Turned So Quickly Against Him at McLaren F1

Published 08/15/2021, 5:44 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

Daniel Ricciardo is having a tough time in his first year at McLaren. The struggles of not being able to drive the car at its maximum has taken a toll on the Aussie. People have been criticizing Ricciardo for not being able to perform at the same level as his teammate, Lando Norris.


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The criticism has also seemed to have bothered Daniel. As it also perplexed him how the opinions of people have shifted in just six months. Ricciardo spoke about his struggles with McLaren in a recent interview.

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I’ve been down on myself this year: Daniel Ricciardo

As reported by the age, Ricciardo stated outside opinions are not valid, as F1 is a sport that many people don’t do. He also mentioned that he is himself feeling very down this season.

“I’ve been down on myself this year, but that’s not for any external reasons or anything that anyone has said,” said Daniel.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action after a collision with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc REUTERS/David W Cerny

“It’s not like F1 is a sport that many people can do, so it doesn’t make outside opinions very valid. People ask if you’ve lost it, whether you’re motivated anymore, that sort of thing. But six months ago, you’d heard people saying I was one of the best drivers of 2020.

Now, it’s ‘he can’t remember how to drive. I’m fairly sure things don’t change that dramatically, so you have to see it as noise that you can mute the volume on.” said Daniel.


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The McLaren driver hopes the results will come soon

Daniel mentioned that the effort he has put into this season is much more than in the past. But he also explained that he just needs to keep his head down and work towards getting better for the rest of the 2021 season. It’s clear lack of effort isn’t the reason behind Ricciardo’s woes as of late.

“I’ve put a lot of effort into the first half of the season, and the team has been very supportive, so I can’t fault them for that,” said Daniel.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 30, 2021, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during practice REUTERS/Florion Goga

“At the moment there’s not a ton of reward to show for it, and there’s been times where I’ve not liked my job all that much. But I know it’s never as bad as it seems. I know that if I keep at it in the right way, things will turn for me.” concluded the McLaren driver.


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There’s a clear optimism that came through during Daniel Ricciardo’s interview that promise a light at the end of the tunnel.

Ricciardo is currently 9th in the drivers’ standings with 50 points, with his best result being P5 at Silverstone.


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Can Daniel recover in the second half of 2021? Let us know.



Devang Chauhan

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Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sport Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been a ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.