Daniel Ricciardo believes he has what it takes to properly challenge and win a World Championship. The Australian feels he can handle the pressure of a season-long Championship battle and still emerge victoriously. Ricciardo’s been in F1 for just over a decade but is yet to mount a serious challenge for the ultimate crown in the pinnacle of motorsports.
Signing with Red Bull in 2013 for the upcoming season was a fantastic decision at the time. With Red Bull winning 4 World Championships in a row, Ricciardo had the perfect opportunity to make it 5. He had the tools to make it 5 in a row but that never came to pass.
The introduction of the turbo-hybrid era saw the meteoric rise of Mercedes. Nobody could have imagined Mercedes winning and dominating for 6 years in a row but that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately for Ricciardo, it was the right place at the wrong time.
Red Bull hasn’t actively challenged for a World Championship in over 6 years. Yes, they have picked up a few victories here and there but it’s mostly been a combination of opportunism and strategic decisions. Ricciardo leaving Red Bull for Renault in 2019, seemed illogical – at least on paper. However, after spending five years at the Milton Keynes outfit, the Aussie had nothing to lose.
Sadly, Renault failed to recapture its momentum last season. A commendable 2018 season didn’t translate to meaningful results in 2019. In fact, the team went backward and lost the development race to McLaren. The switch to Renault hasn’t worked and Ricciardo is at crossroads in his career, yet again.
He has the makings of a World Champion – fearless, has supreme race craft and the right attitude. Unfortunately, he hasn’t driven a car worthy of clinching World Championships. With the clock ticking, Ricciardo needs to choose and choose fast.
The Australian revealed that he was ready to fight for glory and had matured as a driver. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Ricciardo said:
“I feel as far as I’m evolving as a driver and a person that, if I was in a fight for the World title today, I think I have all the attributes and composure to handle the pressure,”
“I’m just trying to prove that to myself really, and ultimately a World title will give me that proof”
“I guess I got here because I love competition and I believe in myself, that I can beat the best in the world”
Ricciardo’s contract with Renault expires this year and the Aussies’ next move could very well seal his fate of glory or gloom in F1.