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Daniel Ricciardo “never lost faith” amid difficult McLaren season as Australian returns to victory


“You can easily get lost”, admits Daniel Ricciardo, referring to Monza’s victory, a difficult year and his summer “reset”; McLaren hails ‘confirmed rider’ Ricciardo after first win in nine years

Last update: 09/14/21 4:32 PM

Daniel Ricciardo says he “never lost confidence” in his abilities despite his three-year win drought and difficult first season with McLaren, as the Australian reflects on a remarkable Italian GP victory and explains the “reset” which helped him regain some form of old.

Ricciardo has been in midfield since leaving Red Bull in 2018 when he, to the paddock’s surprise, joined Renault and then McLaren – but ended two long waits on a chaotic Sunday at Monza, returning to the top of the rankings. podium, while securing his team’s first victory in nine years.

The result came in the middle of a difficult season for Ricciardo, who struggled to master the McLaren car and was eclipsed by young teammate Lando Norris.

“It was the most difficult year I have had in a long time,” admitted Ricciardo, now eight-time Grand Prix winner. Sky Sports F1.

“But it also gave me a better understanding of myself as a person and as a competitor. How much more that means to me, how much I want it.

Italian GP: two droughts over

Ricciardo’s last victory Monaco GP, 2018
McLaren’s last victory Brazilian GP, ​​2012

“The weekend was kind of the product of that. Already on Friday night I had a chip on my shoulder. But it’s crazy, being the guy who wins the team’s first victory in nine years is quite special. . “

Ricciardo added that “there have been dips this year, but deep inside I have never lost faith or belief” as he comes to terms with his momentous achievement.

“You can easily get lost,” he said. “You know, deep down I would have moments of frustration or times of, yeah, ducking my head, but I kind of made a point of never letting this last. to try to learn something and learn from it.

“For a while you fall in love with the sport, but actually the clarity you get afterwards kind of makes you realize how much you love it and how much you want it. end.”

Daniel Ricciardo “never lost faith” amid difficult McLaren season as Australian returns to victory

After winning his first race for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was clearly moved as he spoke with Rachel Brookes of Sky F1

After winning his first race for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was clearly moved as he spoke with Rachel Brookes from Sky F1.

Ricciardo attributed a summer “reset” to inspiring a certain form. “During the first half of the year, I was trying to catch up and learn more about the car, so I was always in, in, in,” he said. “The August vacation kind of forced me away from it. I spent it in the States and just got away. I spent time in the wilderness, on the ranch. ‘a friend, and that was just the time I needed to reset myself.

“I really think it helped this weekend to reach that position.”

He also admitted to having had a “pinch moment” of victory for McLaren.

“I’m sorry if I sound a little self-centered now, but when I think of McLaren I think of (Ayrton) Senna. Those are the first memories and I’ve seen you, like the trophies in the MTC cabinet and having a trophy winning now with my name in pretty much the same cabinet is crazy, ”he said.

Daniel Ricciardo “never lost faith” amid difficult McLaren season as Australian returns to victory

After winning the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo celebrates with his traditional “shoey” celebration

After winning the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo celebrates with his traditional “shoey” celebration

McLaren, meanwhile, are more than happy with their decision to call on Ricciardo.

“As we know Lando has had a sensational season so far,” said team boss Andreas Seidl. F1 Sky. “Daniel struggled to fit in, getting used to our car at first.

“But there’s a reason we wanted to get him on – because he’s an established runner and he’s one of the best in our sport. It’s great to see after the break that this happens. “

The season continues on September 26 with the Russian GP, live on Sky Sports F1.

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