Ricciardo reveals McLaren regrets: “Ask more questions, be more demanding”

Daniel Ricciardo has opened up on the two key things he should have done differently at McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren.

A dreadful two-year spell came to a premature close at the end of 2022 when McLaren opted to pay off the third year of Ricciardo’s deal in order to replace him with rookie Oscar Piastri.

It left the veteran driver without a full-time seat this season, and also shrouded his longer-term future in doubt.

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“I will always take some responsibility or accountability,” he said to Speedcafe.

“For many years I truly believed I was the best, and I am the best in the world, so whatever the situation, I’ll be able to overcome it.

“And obviously with McLaren it was tough for me to do that.

“I was aware that I’m not the perfect driver, I do have weaknesses. So I’ll always hold something on to myself.

“Having a bit of a chance to remove myself from it and now looking back on the last two years, I would have done things differently if I had that time again - maybe ask more questions or been a little bit more demanding.

“But you also live and you learn, so I don’t look back with regret. That was a situation and I got through it.”

Ricciardo is the third driver for Red Bull this season but is expected to pursue a full-time seat next year.

“Now, getting back into Red Bull, my confidence was probably not what it used to be as well.

“I was probably a little bit timid getting into the simulator, trying to downplay how it was going to go.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren at the drivers end of season group photograph. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren at the drivers end of season group…

“But as the day went on, the more comfortable I felt, and the more it just felt like I was back home in a car that I honestly felt comfortable with.

“Everything felt like it was pretty recharged after that first day.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner aimed a dig at McLaren CEO Zak Brown when discussing Ricciardo recently.

“We had to feed him up, I don’t know what you guys did to him,” Horner said.

“He looked skinny. He looks healthier now. He’s training hard and ready to go, given a chance.”

Ricciardo revealed that his ambition is to return to a team near the top of the F1 pecking order, saying:  “I don’t want to just be on the grid [in order] to be on the grid and struggle in 18th place.”

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