Daniel Ricciardo admits that the thought of leaving F1 without winning the World Title is scary, but feels that ‘life will go on’.
Ricciardo made his F1 debut back in 2011 for HRT at the British GP. Since then, he’s gone on to race for Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Renault before making the switch to McLaren ahead of 2021.
His most successful stint in F1 came during his Red Bull spell, where he won seven races. In 2019, he moved to Renault in a move that didn’t work out from the Aussie’s point of view. He joined McLaren last year to continue his push towards winning a World Title.
Ricciardo struggled to settle into the British team in the initial stages of 2021, being consistently outperformed by teammate Lando Norris. He made some amends in the latter half, winning the Italian GP in September, which marked his first victory since Monaco in 2018.
Now 32, Ricciardo knows he does not have a lot of time in the sport. The former Red Bull driver admits that he has to be at his best in the coming few seasons if he wants to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming World Champion.
However, he acknowledges that the chances of him leaving F1 without a Title are very high. While it’s a ‘scary’ prospect, Ricciardo believes he won’t look back on his career with any regrets.
Daniel Ricciardo put all his life’s work into becoming an F1 World Champion
Every single driver who enters F1 aspires to become World Champion someday. Ricciardo is no different. The McLaren star left his country at a very young age to pursue his dreams.
As a result, he feels that if he doesn’t become a Champion, his efforts may all go to waste.
“If you put all your eggs into one basket. And it doesn’t work out, the thought of what might happen. In a way it could be scary,” Ricciardo said.
— F1 Australian Grand Prix (@ausgrandprix) August 24, 2021
“If I put all my life’s work into becoming a World Champion and I don’t become a World Champion, am I going to be depressed the rest of my life? I don’t know, it’s a bit of a risky thing to do.”
“And I think, in this sport, when there’s so many other variables in it, nothing’s guaranteed. And it’s just not that black and white.”
Ricciardo finished P3 twice in his F1 career, in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Still, he’s never been involved in a title fight, something he hopes will change in the coming years.
“Life will still go on if I don’t win the world title”, says Ricciardo
Ricciardo went on to say that he’s unsure how drivers feel after winning the Title. It feels like something huge and groundbreaking, but at the end of the day, the person remains the same. That’s what Daniel Ricciardo feels.
“It doesn’t change me or my mindset as a competitor or anything. But I guess some days, especially like the bad days, you sometimes do need to laugh it off – it’s just a sport,” the honey badger said.
Love that energy. Still pumped!! 🥰🇦🇺 https://t.co/Pmdv9LH6rm
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) September 14, 2021
“If I don’t become a champion, life will still go on. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to live my dream for quite a few years now.”
“At the end of the day, it’s a trophy, and it’s your name in the history books forever – but you’re still going to go to bed that night, you’re still going to wake up the next day.”
“I don’t want to downplay it, but you just want to be mature with the approach of it. Lewis has seven of them. Does he feel different to before he had any? I don’t know. I’m not saying I have that answer, but I don’t know,” he concluded.