Daniel Ricciardo has spent some time unwinding with friend and compatriot Scotty James after the disappointment of the Monaco Grand Prix.
For the fourth consecutive race, Ricciardo crossed the line outside the top 10 last weekend, and it was symptomatic of a driver who, while he still possesses every bit of class that has won him eight races, is lacking in confidence and comfort in his car at the moment.
What did not help was the public criticism from McLaren CEO Zak Brown, but the 32-year-old took that on the chin and affirmed that it was “not false,” before being eliminated in Q2 in Monte Carlo and finishing the race P13.
Following another tremendously difficult afternoon, the Australian affirmed that he needed some time away to rest and find his feet again.
“Obviously, we know Monaco, it’s so track position dependent and obviously a tough weekend to take,” he explained in the media pen.
“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.”
One of the friends that was with him in Monaco and attended the race was James, and the pair engaged in some banter when Ricciardo posted a selfie on Instagram by the sea with the double Olympic medallist.
“Run fun sun bao bun tastes yum cya later,” captioned Ricciardo.
“This photo would actually be pretty good if you weren’t in it,” was the brilliant reply from James.
They then recorded a skit with the former Red Bull driver running past James, who was posing as a fan.
“Can’t believe it, here comes Daniel! Let’s say hi,” said James, turning the camera to Ricciardo.
“Not now,” replied the McLaren driver, flipping off the camera.
The relaxation period at home in Monaco will certainly be an important one for Ricciardo as he looks to put his recent form behind him, and he hopes to return to points scoring form as soon as possible.
“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 added.
“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.”
The 32-time podium finisher is currently 11th in the Drivers’ Championship, four positions and 37 points behind team-mate Lando Norris.