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Ricciardo gives X-RATED response to McLaren critics

Ricciardo gives X-RATED response to McLaren critics

F1 News

Ricciardo gives X-RATED response to McLaren critics

Ricciardo gives X-RATED response to McLaren critics

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that his confidence took a “few punches in the gut” during his time at McLaren, calling some of the criticism he received 'bulls**t'.

Ricciardo's McLaren contract ended a year earlier than expected, opening the door for fellow Australian driver Oscar Piastri to secure the seat following two challenging seasons.

However, it was later announced that the Australian driver would make a return to Red Bull as a reserve driver. Ricciardo then replaced Nyck de Vries at Red Bull sister team, AlphaTauri in July 2023.

Yet, despite Ricciardo securing McLaren's most recent win, at Monza in 2021, he acknowledged a shift in his confidence within the team and wants answers regarding why doubts arose about his capabilities.

“I wanted to get some answers, just for my own peace of mind,” said Ricciardo. “I would get some positive feedback or encouragement in terms of, ‘I’ve seen what people are saying, they think you’ve forgotten how to drive.

“It’s bulls**t, you don’t forget how to drive overnight and the kind of, ‘don’t lose your confidence, you’ll find your way back if you want it’ – so there’s definitely some positive stuff like that.

“I was curious because, as much as the McLaren I felt, obviously, it didn’t suit me, I felt like it was certainly compounded over time with my confidence dropping and getting kind of lower and lower, after obviously taking quite a few punches in the gut.”

Ricciardo also shared that he desired a return to Red Bull and had conversations with both Christian Horner and Helmut Marko about the possibility.

“That’s why as soon as I spoke with Helmut and Christian towards the end of last year,” added Ricciardo. “And the thought of just being back in that family and just even having a go on the simulator, having some data with Max again, and then obviously Checo, I was like, ‘okay, even if it’s a simulator, I just kind of want to see if I can still do it and if the car feels the way I want it to feel.”

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted his time at McLaren made him lose confidence
Daniel Ricciardo returned to F1, replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri

READ MORE: Horner reveals Red Bull star almost left team for 'Hollywood lifestyle'

Red Bull return

Ricciardo drove for Red Bull from 2014 to 2018, securing victory in seven grands prix with the team before leaving to join Renault.

Daniel Ricciardo secured seven race victories with Red Bull

Despite currently driving with AlphaTauri, Ricciardo has recently revealed that the ideal end to his Formula 1 career would be a return to a genuine Red Bull seat.

“I am not going to put a day or date on it, but coming back into the Red Bull family, that [a Red Bull drive] is the dream,” said Ricciardo on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

“Ending my career with a Red Bull drive will be the perfect way to finish. Not that I am looking at the end, but if I get back there, I will certainly make sure I will finish there.”

Ricciardo's current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2024 season, coinciding with the end of Red Bull driver Sergio Perez's contract. This opens up the possibility of a potential swap starting in the 2025 season.

READ MORE: Ricciardo reacts to retirement questions over 'freak' injury

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