“It was pretty dark after the qualifying”– Daniel Ricciardo talks about his sombre mood after the Italian Grand Prix qualifying.
Daniel Ricciardo re-established his merit in Formula 1 after marvellously winning the Italian Grand Prix for McLaren, where the Woking-based team dominated over both Mercedes and Red Bull until both crashed out.
However, Ricciardo’s journey here wasn’t pleasant, and even going into the last Grand Prix, he had an underwhelming day, which he recently shared.
“Friday evening I was just so like… it was pretty dark after the qualifying or whatever we call it on Friday,” he told Sky Sports. “Yeah something in me was like ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’ in terms of like, I want to win, I want to be the guy.”
“And being close, it just wasn’t… It just fuelled me more than anything. And obviously it was good and the team were like ‘It’s a good session, you should be happy’, and I appreciate that, relative to this year, it was a good session.”
“But… I don’t know, that’s when the competitor in me just really came out. I can’t even explain it, it’s just something like a burning feeling inside me and I was just like ‘No, it’s not good enough.’”
“It’s easy to say now because I won but honestly there was something that came over me, particularly after Friday evening, and I was on a man on a mission.”
Even though McLaren showed concerns about Ricciardo’s poor performances in 2021, the team’s management still believed in him and expected him to emerge to the expectations eventually.
“They’ve been really supportive throughout,” he said. “And I think that’s been some of the internal frustration, that everything around me feels great, it’s just that the results weren’t there to kind of complete the picture.”