Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that some members of staff at Renault appeared to be intimidated by him following his move to the French works team from Red Bull at the end of 2018.
Speaking in an interview with Optus, an Australian telecoms company that has a partnership with Ricciardo, the McLaren driver said that on some occasions in his F1 career, he has noticed team members feeling intimidated by him.
“It’s something you kind of try to ignore or never want to admit,” Ricciardo replied when asked if he had noticed anyone he had worked with in F1 feeling intimidated by him.
“Of course it’s not the case with everyone, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed that on occasions.
“I think one actually was when I went from Red Bull to Renault. It was the most high-profile move of that season, and I think quite a few people at Renault probably read too many articles and headlines, and it was a bigger deal for them with me coming.
“So I felt like [on my] first day at work, people were just shy to even say hi to me. If I went to go and introduce myself, that would take them back, like, ‘Why is he talking to me? I’m not that important’.
“You could just tell that some of them were really in their shell. I felt bad, because I was like, ‘I’m not trying to overpower you, I’m just trying to be nice and start something’. You do feel it sometimes,” Ricciardo explained.
Continuing, he said he believes being yourself is the best way to deal with other team members feeling intimidated by a driver.
“I think the best way to break that is to be authentic, to be yourself and just to let them know that you’re just like them,” Ricciardi added.
“You are a human and we all have feelings. We also all just have a passion and a love for the same thing, so that’s pretty cool.”