McLaren F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has been slammed for saying he believes he is the best driver in the pinnacle of motorsport.
The Australian, who just completed his debut season with McLaren after switching from Renault, said he is the best driver on the Formula 1 grid, ahead of Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton.
“Until the day I stop… I’ll always believe I’m the best. I think the day I stop will be the day that I no longer believe I’m the best driver,” Ricciardo said.
Ricciardo added that former Red Bull team-mate and 2021 champion Verstappen is “probably” the next best driver.
“Is Max the second best? Probably! Probably!” he said.
These remarks earned Ricciardo some stick on social media, with a number of people criticising him for claiming he’s better than Hamilton and Verstappen after a poor 2021 campaign.
One F1 fan branded him “clearly delusional” for ranking himself above Hamilton and Verstappen.
“I always liked Danny Riccardo, but how can he rank himself above Max & Lewis,” one social media user commented.
“Leaving out the Max is better than Lewis, Max broke him as a team-mate. He’s clearly delusional.”
Another described Ricciardo’s ranking as “ridiculous” and claimed that he left Red Bull at the end of 2018 to get away from an ever-improving Verstappen.
The McLaren driver has previously said he decided to leave Red Bull as he felt the team was favouring Verstappen at his expense.
A third Twitter user simply described Ricciardo as “out of his mind” for claiming to be better than the aforementioned two drivers, who have eight F1 championships between them.
The Aussie had a difficult first year with McLaren, with younger team-mate Lando Norris comprehensively outscoring him over the course of the 22-race season.
Ricciardo finished eighth in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship on 115 points, while Norris ended the year P6 in the standings after scoring 160 points.
However, it was the former Red Bull driver who scored the team’s first win since 2012, leading home a McLaren 1-2 at Monza after Hamilton and Verstappen took each other out of the grand prix.
Ricciardo will continue to race with McLaren in 2022, with Norris also being retained by the Woking-based team.