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Ricciardo admits surprise feeling over McLaren exit

Ricciardo admits surprise feeling over McLaren exit

Ricciardo admits surprise feeling over McLaren exit

Ricciardo admits surprise feeling over McLaren exit

Daniel Ricciardo has reflected on his exit from McLaren in 2022, admitting that it might have been the best thing that could have happened.

The Australian spent the first half of the 2023 season as a Red Bull test and reserve driver before jumping back in the cockpit to take over from the struggling Nyck de Vries, with a new appreciation for his job.

His career looked to be all but over in 2022 when it was announced that he would be leaving McLaren at the end of the season to make way for fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri.

But Ricciardo used this as a chance to self-reflect and try to find his passion for the sport again, turning his negative situation into something positive.

Daniel Ricciardo departed McLaren to make way for Oscar Piastri in 2022
But he made his dramatic return to F1 with AlphaTauri in 2023 to partner Yuki Tsunoda

Ricciardo: McLaren exit was a blessing in disguise'

Speaking with motorsport.com about his McLaren exit, he said: “Look, as uncomfortable at times the McLaren situation was, it was a blessing in disguise.

“Let's say they cancelled my contract because I needed to step away to kind of re-find myself, re-find my love and get the hunger back as well.

“I think there were a lot of elements that had just been a little bit hurt or bruised from it all, like my drive and my motivation. So, I just needed to find that again and that time away gave that to me.”

Ricciardo says his exit from McLaren was a 'blessing in disguise'

Ricciardo also revealed that his break from F1 helped him pursue his other interests to avoid any ‘fear of retiring’.

"I wanted to make sure that I was still able to have other hobbies and interests in life because coming back into the sport it kind of makes it feel as serious as I want to take it,” he explained.

“It just made it feel like it's not the be-all and, end-all. So yeah, I did choose to do things and pursue other avenues of life. And also make sure that I've got other passions and interests and not have a fear of retiring one day ultimately.”

READ MORE: F1 make huge move for ANOTHER US Grand Prix

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