Ricciardo reflects on ‘bad year’ with McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo says he has learned a lot about himself following a difficult debut season with McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo cycling in Abu Dhabi 2021.v1

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has given his own assessment of his debut season with the Woking-based team.

Ricciardo finished eighth in the Drivers’ Standings in 2021, 45 points behind team-mate Lando Norris. He was out-qualified 14 times over the course of the year, while the Briton out-raced him on 15 occasions.

Ricciardo did not want to sound overly deprecating of himself, nor did he wish for it to seem as though he had applied insufficient effort over the course of the year, but he does not rate his 2021 campaign very highly at all.

“I’ll give you a score, but I’ll say it sucks giving yourself a low grade because I’ve actually put a lot of effort in,” Ricciardo said.

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The Australian is pleased with his improvement as the season progressed, but is candid about his struggles.

“So if I say, like, three, it comes across like I haven’t tried. But it hasn’t been without trying – the first part of the season is probably a four, the second part a seven.”

Daniel Ricciardo says no regrets about leaving Red Bull.v1

Taking a more philosophical approach, the 32-year-old believes that the main positive of this year has been that he has learned a lot about himself as a person and as a racing driver.

“What’s been good this year is I never really knew what, let’s say, my strengths were,” he said.

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“Okay, yes, I’m fast, but why am I fast? Where am I fast? In a way, this year the weaknesses also exposed to me what my strengths are. That was quite interesting.”

Renowned for being a positive and happy person, Ricciardo sees the importance of finding positives among the difficulties.

“You wouldn’t think in like, let’s call it bad times or a bad year, you would discover something good about yourself.”

Ricciardo will contest his 11th full season in Formula 1 in 2022, with him being retained by McLaren.

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