Read the full exclusive Q&A with Daniel Ricciardo here
Daniel Ricciardo says his tough 2015 Formula 1 campaign has helped him mature as a driver, admitting to being surprised at how he has let his frustrations show at times this season.
The Australian stole the headlines in 2014 by marking his maiden season with Red Bull Racing with three race wins and comprehensively out-performing his four-time world championship winning team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
However, 2015 has proven considerably tougher for Ricciardo as Red Bull and, in particular, engine supplier Renault struggle to consistently match the performance of the rival Mercedes and Ferrari teams.
Though fortunes have picked up in recent races, Ricciardo admits he has been left frustrated at times by the dip in performance, but says it will ultimately spur him on to rediscover that success.
“The guys on the inside see us go through the motions as well,” he told Crash
. “The ins and the outs and they see when we're up and down and frustrated or whatever. You know it's obviously nice when he's seen me, in a way, come through it. I think I have matured in a way from it all, I think I have grown as a person.
“There have been times sure, when I have let my frustrations been known but I think it's the way then I've adapted to that and then overcome it and moved forward. I think that's going to serve me well for the rest of my career.
“I think I'm still going to draw a lot of positives the season, it's been character building and I know that when we do get a chance to fight at the front again, a bit like the last race in Budapest, I will really thrive off that opportunity again and I think I'll really leave it all out there and make the most of the next chance.”
Discussing his place in the team, Ricciardo admits it is nice to have now reached a point where Red Bull would need to convince him to stay – rather than him convincing the team to promote him -, but insists he is not looking elsewhere for the time being.
“My whole career has been about trying to make it [through the ranks] and you hope Red Bull then promotes you. Now I'm at least the top of that Red Bull pyramid and I guess I'm established in the sport now. I know if I keep my s*** together, I'm going to stay in the sport because I believe I have got the talent and the tools to stay in the sport and do well.
So, a lot of it is up to me but it can now start to create options elsewhere. Obviously some race wins create interest from everywhere so I guess you approach it a little bit differently now. You're not just holding on to stay in, you're looking for what is best for you and your future out there. In saying that, I'm not actively looking at other teams and talking to team bosses.”