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“It’s definitely something I want to improve next year” – McLaren’s star driver looks to step up for the 2022 season

Janmeyjay Shukla

"It's definitely something I want to improve next year" - McLaren's star driver looks to step up for the 2022 season

After a rocky first season with McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo says he still needs to take “another step” next year.

Ricciardo, who ended eighth in the Drivers’ Championship, had a difficult season overall, but he was able to win at the Italian Grand Prix, leading McLaren to the only 1-2 finish by any team this season.

Lando Norris, on the other hand, had a spectacular season in 2021, achieving four podiums and his first pole position in Sochi, outperforming Ricciardo for most of the year.

Talking about the season and plans ahead, the number 3 said, “[This year] started not great, got better, but still with some dips. [I was] definitely happier with the second half, but there’s still some things to work on, so I’m not overwhelmed with it.”

“Let’s say I made a step. Clearly, I still need to make another one next year to get where I want to be. Probably more on Saturdays just to give me that track position for Sunday and keep me out of a little bit more of a mess – that’s what I’ll work on.”

Also read: Daniel Ricciardo dismayed after his first year with McLaren

“We had a bit more pace in clear air, but to be honest that’s on me” – Honey Badger on track at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Ricciardo finished 12th in his final race of the season, out of the points due to traffic at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The Australian, who began from 10th, was delayed behind Esteban Ocon throughout the first stint of the race and was overtaken by Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso due to the inclusion of Virtual Safety Car.

He claims he profited from the Safety Car and red flags appearing one week earlier in Saudi Arabia, and that his luck turned at the Yas Marina Circuit.

“I think I got up to ninth, then I think I was sitting there and I feel like I had a bit more pace than Ocon, but it was still tricky to overtake,” said Ricciardo.

“Ultimately, I probably didn’t have enough pace to get by, and so that was that, and then I think [with] the VSC, Gasly, and Fernando were able to jump us, so that put us out, and then we’re just kind of out of position, so [it’s] a bit tricky.

“I think we had a bit more pace in clear air, but to be honest that’s on me. That’s what happens when you qualify 10th and you’re in, I guess, that park.

“[It’s] definitely something I want to improve next year, those Saturdays, and make Sundays a little easier for myself.”

Also read: Helmut Marko reveals how Max Verstappen thought that talks about his Red Bull debut in 2016 were a ‘joke’

About the author

Janmeyjay Shukla

Janmeyjay Shukla


Janmeyjay Shukla is an artist who contributes his expressions through words as an F1 writer and editor at The SportsRush. He is an F1 historian who has been watching the sport since he was a baby. Passed on from generation to generation, he has seen the prime of Michael Schumacher to the rise of Max Verstappen. A Mercedes fan from the days of the Brawn GP era, the sport runs in his blood. Besides Formula One, Janmeyjay is a Marketing Head and a musician who loves to sing and play Rock & Pop songs on guitar. His love for sports will never die as he is a loyal Liverpool Football Club fan as well!

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