Trials of 2021 Presented ‘Opportunities To Grow Up’ for Aussie Star Daniel Ricciardo

Published 12/30/2021, 9:48 AM EST
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during practice REUTERS/Mike Blake


Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo had a tough 2021 F1 season with the Mclaren team. Apart from 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 eighth in the championship standings, two places behind teammate Lando Norris.

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The “Honey Badger” has taken a few surprising decisions in the past. The move from Red Bull to Renault came as a shock to many, including the Team Principal Christian Horner. The shift to Mclaren was still a more viable decision as per many fans. The Australian driver believes this year was a tough one, but it helped him grow a lot.

Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 20, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during qualifying REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Daniel Ricciardo reflected on his 2021 season

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Though an average F1 season for Ricciardo, 2021 was a learning curve for the Aussie in many aspects. He struggled to adapt to the Mclaren MCL35M for the better part of the season. As this was his first season with the team, we can expect substantial growth in the next one from Ricciardo.

In a recent interview, he mentioned the two major issues he had to face this year which also helped in his overall growth. “I went through some stages when I moved from Red Bull to Renault, I call it personal development,” Ricciardo said.

“But there were two factors that made this the most important year ever — in that respect,” he added, as reported by Motorsport.

“One of them was the difficulty that the vehicle presented and I tried to deal with it. I think the other is clearly not having the comfort of home or family environment that you are used to.”

A personal life shift for Ricciardo

Ricciardo also took a tough decision to move out of his home in Perth; he currently lives in Monaco. The small principality is home to many F1 stars including Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, and Valtteri Bottas, for many professional and financial reasons.

“Sometimes when you stay at home, you don’t really realize what it means because it’s always right in front of you. But when I left Australia and moved away from my family, I definitely realized that more clearly. It’s really big not to see them for so long.”

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“It made me appreciate not only the competition, but other things in life, and I think that gave me a lot of opportunities to grow up,” he concluded.

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Daniel 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 in the 2022 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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