Ricciardo won’t be in the F1 2023 driver line-up after McLaren opted to terminate his contract a year early, and replace him with rookie Oscar Piastri, as a result of his poor form.

The veteran Australian has now revealed how his on-track struggles followed him in his personal life too.

Daniel Ricciardo - WHERE NEXT? | F1 2022

“Whenever we thought we would found a solution, along would come another set of challenges,” he told the Daily Mail. 

“When you put so much into something and it doesn’t work out there is sadness. It gets to you.

“Last year it affected me a little bit too much. 

“I wouldn’t be my usual bubbly self. I would be reluctant if someone said let’s go out for dinner. I would need some cajoling. I let it get to me. 

“I started to speak to a psychologist last year. The most challenging year I have had. 

“Racing is very much results driven and dictates your Sunday happiness. I was neglecting friendships and thought it would be good to talk to someone to make sure the two sides of my life didn’t cross over.

“You need perspective. And with the calendar being so long, it was hard to remove yourself from what was happening in the racing.”

Ricciardo is 12th in the F1 standings after being drastically outperformed by Lando Norris in 2022.

McLaren opted not to keep him for 2023 and he has not found an agreement to stay on the grid with another team.

“It is fair to say it was unexpected, given I was on a three-year deal that had a year to run,” he said about McLaren’s decision.

“It is not something you can prepare for. But I’d already had some honest discussions with Andreas Seidl [team principal] and Zak Brown [chief executive] earlier in the year to see what we could do to improve things.

“It was a concern on both sides. I didn’t want to keep coming 14th or 15th. I kept the faith that something would click. But it hadn’t happened by mid-season and they took the decision they did. 

“It put me in a tough position of thinking: ‘What next?’”

Ricciardo has confirmed that he remains in talks with F1 teams about a different role, reportedly as a reserve driver. He has been heavily linked with Mercedes as back-up to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

“It would be good to get next year sorted before the final race in Abu Dhabi,” he said.