Daniel Riccirdo has assured that the “FEM” acronym he wore on his helmet during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend was not a dig at anyone.
Following Zak Brown’s criticism of him, many on social media began wondering if there was a stale relationship between Ricciardo and his team, and this was only fuelled when he wore the acronym last weekend.
It stands for “f*** ‘em all” and, as an avid UFC fan, the Australian knows all about how to use words to get himself fired up get his elbows out against his opponents during the race.
This is the sole reason for the slogan being on his helmet in Monaco, and he emphasises that nobody was specifically intended to be on the receiving end of it.
“I put it on my helmet in 2018 as well,” explained Ricciardo.
“I like to use acronyms to pump me up. It’s honestly not directed at anyone, it’s something that I’ve said for a few years, and it just kind of gets me in my happy place.
“I think as well, as a driver, you put the helmet on and that’s also very significant of flipping the switch. It’s one of the last things I’ll see when I put the helmet on.
“So it reminds me to channel in and get into the zone.”
A crash for Ricciardo during free practice in Monaco lost him almost an hour of running in the Principality and disrupted his rhythm for the rest of the weekend as he was eliminated in Q2 on Saturday.
The 32-year-old finished 13th as he failed to make inroads on the points-paying positions, and he was left pondering another disappointing day at the office.
“Certainly tricky,” Ricciardo said.
“I mean these conditions… it’s not often you drive in Monaco in the wet and I mean the wet is already a handful let alone on the tightest street circuit.
“Really we got to a point where we were slow on the extreme [wet] but to fit an inter for a few laps I thought I would have just lost more time.
“So [I] tried to ride it out until I could just ride it out until I could just put a slick on.
“We were… I mean ultimately this weekend just wasn’t a good weekend; just not really quick throughout and yeah that was the race.
“Obviously, we know Monaco, it’s so track position dependent and obviously a tough weekend to take.
“Unfortunately, I’m experienced with these, had a few of them the last couple of months.
“So I feel like I can handle them a little bit better, therefore I will continue to smile or at least try to smile but deep down obviously disappointed.
“But I’ll look at it now, debrief and whatever but just probably take a few days off – I have a few friends here – and try to just enjoy some moments away from the track and then reset for Baku.”
Ricciardo has failed to score points in any of the last four races for McLaren, but he vows to bounce back in the coming races and improve his performances.
“It’s been a while now so I wish it still wasn’t the case but I think the reality is that and I think there will be some tracks where it just clicks from the first practice and we’re good, but I think I’ll expect to probably still work at it and try to keep trying!” he stated.
“I won’t go down without a fight but of course I don’t wish to be fighting for 13th so [I’ll] try to get back in the points soon.”
Ahead of the race in Monte Carlo, Brown warned that there are “mechanisms” in the eight-time race winner’s contract by which the British side may can terminate it before the end of 2023.