Formula 1 | Why Ricciardo is keeping hope in McLaren F1

Although McLaren’s confidence seems if not broken, at least seriously damaged in him, Daniel Ricciardo can only be to blame: because since his arrival at Woking, Lando Norris has beaten him easily and regularly in the orange car.

However, if his delay in the 2021 car (with an old regulation) was excusable, it is less understandable to see Daniel Ricciardo falling so far behind Lando Norris, with this new aerodynamic regulation of 2022. That he had to act as a ‘reset’ for him…

Isn’t the Australian disappointed in himself? Didn’t I have many other expectations with this new regulation?

“Yes, but, and maybe now with experience, I’m always a little cautious about what to expect, what to expect or ask for. We never know. »

“This is the case when we receive evolutions. If they say ‘this is going to take us three-tenths’, I’m like… let’s see it at the track.”

“Even if the team says we have a development this weekend that’s worth a second, I’m not going to exult until the clock says so. And obviously, I have nothing against the team; I just think it’s important not to have too many expectations in this sport, or not to fly too high, because F1 sure can bring you down just as quickly. »

Taking as often a cue from his victory at Monza at the start of the second half of last year’s season, Daniel Ricciardo does not want to lose hope: what if the best was yet to come in 2022?

“It was exciting (to do a reboot) but I’m also looking at the second half of last year and while it wasn’t the best second half of the year I’ve ever had, it was a lot better than the first . I had picked up a bit of momentum with this car, so I was also thinking, ‘if the rules don’t change, I think I’m in a good position to start the second season now.'”

The need for a rest

The summer break, before the resumption of F1 in Spa, can also act as this ‘reset’ that Daniel Ricciardo needs?

The McLaren driver uses strong terms, especially in reference to the end of 2021…

“Twelve months ago, I claimed her [la pause estivale] almost screaming I needed a break, to get away from it all, because I was in a rough spot, with not much on the other side, so I knew I would be fine. »

“I wouldn’t say I’m claiming it right now. You could say it’s the same as last year, but I didn’t let myself burn out. »

“Having said that, I still understand the value of a break and I still want one. I still think it will be good for me, and probably most people in the paddock. But yeah, last year was something non-negotiable; it was like, ‘I need this fucking break,’ when I’m going to take it now.”

Daniel Ricciardo is also confident in his team’s ability to progress him, while his needs are now better known.

“Last year around this time, everyone was probably a little more confused, and that’s because … the truth is, they were expecting me to join the team and kick everybody’s ass and ass. So I probably still there was a little bit of bewilderment, like, “Hmmm, what’s going on?” »

“And that probably took precedence over what needed to happen—I’m just speculating, but maybe too much energy was put into the whys and the thiss and thats before asking, ‘What should we do?’ Let’s do it now to make him feel. better? »

“But this year there’s more understanding and they know me now after a year, so it’s very clear what I like in a car, and I’ve even discovered it. So when I’m struggling, the team says to me, “Oh, I see it in the data, this is how Daniel feels, and he’s shown over the last 18 months that he doesn’t like to feel that. That’s what’s holding him back. the car at its limit, it’s this zone.” »

“So development-wise, in some of the tools, in the buttons on the steering wheel, the differential and that kind of thing, we can play around with it and there’s a little bit more direction on that. That’s where I feel like we’re more aware than I need; the path is clearer to get there. Last year, it was always kind of like, ‘F***, what is it? What’s holding him back? Why is it so off the beat?”

But if he still fails to perform in this second half of the season, would Daniel Ricciardo understand that McLaren sacked him? Will he agree to play with his skin in the next Grand Prix?

“Obviously I won a race less than a year ago and people are saying that [désormais] “Ah, this guy is no good for Formula 1 anymore.” It just goes to show that you have to be there all the time, and you can’t give people a reason to write something or have an opinion. »

“But it is what it is. I know it’s the nature of trying to be the best in the world at something and that comes with it, so I accept it. Of course, sometimes you have to do things like issue a statement to try to silence certain noises. »

What Ricciardo did recently remembering that he had a contract for 2023…

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