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“Gotta Take It on the Chin”: Iron Willed Daniel Ricciardo Showed Grit Hidden Behind the Wide Grin After His World Came Crashing Down

Published 02/24/2023, 1:15 PM EST

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The 2022 season of F1 had several high points and low points. A high for one was a low for another, and vice versa. To give an example, Ferrari hitting a low after a few races was a great high for Red Bull. But Daniel Ricciardo leaving the grid, despite having a spare year on his contract, was one of those moments that made everyone sad. The Honey Badger is adored by the fans of teams across the garages. At that time, he faced the situation comfortably and appeared to be doing all right in the eyes of the fans. But as it turns out, that wasn’t actually the case.

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He left the grid and decided to come back as the third driver with Red Bull, but with an extremely limited role. Nevertheless, the fans were happy to see him enjoy his time off at home, i.e., at Red Bull. 

via Reuters

But even though he appeared all good on the outside, a new side of him came out during the latest season of Netflix’s Drive to Survive. In a moment during Season 5, Episode 6, which was also titled around Daniel, “Nice Guys Finish Last,” the driver talks about the time when his future with McLaren and his F1 career looked bleak.


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And as tough as he may appear on the outside, the Honey Badger said, “Knowing I might not be on the grid or have a contract for ‘23, if this is the end of the road, then it’s like, all right, damn, that’s. Yeah. It is a bit emotional.”

“It hurts and I feel it. You gotta take it on the chin. You can cry about it, you can sob and whatever.”

“But it’s how it goes.”

With his words, Ricciardo left an important message for all the fans. But kudos to him for displaying grit and hiding the reality behind a big smile, which kept his fans happy, who were sick of seeing him struggle at McLaren. 

Why didn’t Daniel Ricciardo join Haas in 2023?

There have been plenty of speculations over why Daniel Ricciardo and Haas didn’t get together when there was a possibility. Like, what could have gone wrong when both parties were in need of each other?


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via Reuters

Apparently, Daniel had no intention or willingness to join Haas. It appears to be clear from the fact that he wasn’t willing to take a cut in his paycheck, which he gladly did when he came over from Renault to McLaren.


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However, Haas would have had difficulty retaining him given Ricciardo’s desired salary of $10 million, as revealed in the Drive to Survive. This request even made Guenther Steiner say, as quoted by Planet F1, “We can’t afford him, Kevin. He wants 10 f***ing million. Minimum!”


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WATCH THIS STORY: Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz Achieve Rare F1 Feat With Colossal Disney Lightyear Collaboration

So, it looks like this match just wasn’t meant to be. But if Daniel does decide to get back in 2024, will there be a seat available for him? Or has he lost his chance?

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Written by:

Manan Goel


One take at a time

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh