Daniel Ricciardo’s Unique Approach to Overcome McLaren F1 Adversity: “Just F*** it Off, Jump on a Plane”

Published 01/02/2022, 10:05 AM EST
Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 2, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference Hassan Ammar/Pool via REUTERS


Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo had a tough 2021 F1 season with the Mclaren team. Except for the win at Monza, he struggled to adapt to the new car for the most part of the season. Ricciardo switched to the Woking-based team after two years with Renault. He finished 8th in the championship standings, two places behind teammate Lando Norris.

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Ricciardo had a strong 2020 season with Renault. However, the races in the first half of 2021 saw a steep decline in his performance. At the midway junction, he stood at less than half the points than Norris.

Recently, he reflected on the difficult first half of the 2021 season and how he got through it personally. A forced break after the disastrous Hungarian GP proved to be the key for his Monza excellence. Ricciardo won the Italian GP followed by Norris in 2nd, giving Mclaren the only 1-2 finish of the 2021 season.

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Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 4, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Daniel Ricciardo had his back against the wall in the first half

Though an average F1 season for Ricciardo, 2021 was a learning curve for the Aussie in many aspects. However, one of the lowest points of Ricciardo’s season came at the Hungarian Grand Prix when he crossed the line 11th out of 13 finishers after picking up damage in the first lap disarray.

In a recent interview with Autosport, Daniel Ricciardo claimed that although it was a ‘laughable’ first stint with the team, he did not pay much heed to it once he got on the plane back home.

“As dejected as I was at the time, part of me was also happy, because I was like, alright, the first half has been what it was. It’s nearly laughable in some ways. So let’s just f*** it off, jump on a plane and just not care about F1 for two weeks.” Ricciardo said.

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“I think everyone operates differently, but I need that escape sometimes. I’m not a driver that goes to bed every night thinking of F1. So I knew it was going to be healthy for me.” added the 32-year-old Aussie.

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After an intense season, Ricciardo is currently back home in Perth for the festive break and he will be behind the wheel again for the winter testing. The 2022 season comes with a lot of unpredictability. Where do you think Ricciardo will finish next season?

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Rituraj Tripathi

249 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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