Daniel Ricciardo Explains His Monza Message to the Masses -“There Was a Lot of People Who Had Written Me off…”

Published 01/04/2022, 1:33 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo celebrates after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


One of the more iconic out-lap radios this season undoubtedly goes to Daniel Ricciardo. From David Croft’s exemplary welcome of the Aussie to the checkered flag, to Ricciardo reminding the world that he had ‘never left’; dramatic and memorable as a highlight of the season. Although it was all in the moment, Ricciardo explains the thought process behind his eighth victory.

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Daniel Ricciardo’s exit from Red Bull had raised a lot of eyebrows. Many questioned what was considered a rash decision. Further, his comparatively quiet time at Renault fuelled the flames. Thus, when Ricciardo had once again made a shift, people wondered if McLaren would be the right fit for the Aussie. Despite a rocky start to the season, Ricciardo pulled through.

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Although the words came to him in the moment, Daniel knew what he wanted his victory to sound like; his roar was loud and clear: “I want to say I may have hesitated because I didn’t want to be like Valtteri where it’s like, ‘to whom it may concern’. I don’t want it to be a sound clip to be like, ‘fuck everyone!'”

Rather, the entire weekend- from qualifying, sprint, and the race- down to the final lap- was a big testimony from the Honey Badger. ” I definitely felt like there was a lot of people who had written me off and I also that weekend, something was over me. Like, I wasn’t surprised with how the result turned out.”

Daniel Ricciardo sheds light on the triumphant Italian GP weekend

The second stint of the 2021 season began with a bang for Ricciardo. The first race after the break, in Hungary, saw Ricciardo with a skip in his step. Further, the qualifying session in Belgium only proved that Daniel Ricciardo was now conditioned to his MCL35M.

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“I just wanted to make a statement. So in the end, it was ‘I never left’ but the whole weekend, I felt like every day I was making some form of statement to myself at least.”

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo celebrates winning third position in the sprint qualifying REUTERS/Massimo Pinca.

Thus, the horrendous first half of the season was compensated for in Ricciardo’s books. “The first half of the season, I guess was weighing on me. And I felt like I’d got rid of a lot of that, which was good for me.”

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Since the driver has made his big comeback, now it will be time to see Ricciardo acclimate to the new 2022 car. Now a new man, surely the trials of 2021 won’t repeat themselves. Regardless, it could be the year of the Honey Badger in F1, where victories like Monza could occur more frequently.

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Shreya Sanjeev

771 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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