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Ricciardo: “I’m Just Enjoying the Driving Now”

“I'm enjoying the driving now; it's not so much result-driven," Ricciardo said....

Daniel Ricciardo has not had the stunning return to Formula 1 that he surely hoped for. While he had a phenomenal performance in Mexico last year, the start to 2024 has been lacklustre. He has been outqualified by his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, at every event and has been beaten each Sunday. He has also yet to score points and now there are doubts whether his ambition to join Red Bull is feasible.

Despite all of that, Ricciardo is happy with what he’s doing and when asked if he would be happy to stay at RB, Red Bull’s sister team, for longer than just the 2024 season, he said that he would as he’s enjoying himself.  

“As I feel today, yes,” Ricciardo told Speedcafe. “I’m enjoying the driving now; it’s not so much result-driven.

“Obviously, I don’t want to just be here to be here; I want to earn that seat and the team is hopefully further up. So yeah, I guess it goes both ways. I mean, the answer is yes. But is it more fun fighting at the front? Is it more fun fighting for podiums and wins? Absolutely.”

For Ricciardo, self-belief is what is driving him to continue in the sport despite naysayers appearing in greater numbers.

“The truth is, if I draw a line under it and I speak about myself in the third person: Why did Daniel Ricciardo return after a few months off last year? Because I believe I can stand on the podium again. I can win races again,” he said.

“Ultimately, that is it. The belief is there… As long as that belief is still there, I think I’ll be happy being here.

“But when I eventually do hang it up, I would love to have stood on the podium a few more times.”

While self-belief is what’s driving him, he does care about how others perceive him and his achievements.

“I want to make people proud, and I want people that support me to feel proud of what’s going on,” he conceded.

“It’s not even proving anything; it’s just that you want to remind people – I want to remind some people that two races are not career-defining.

“I’m not in a bad place. I’m not coming from a lack of confidence. Just all this, whatever, it’s like yeah, you want to remind…

“In 2018, on my helmet for a little bit, I put some messages on the back of my helmet. I had ‘remind these cats’.

“People forget, you know… I want to prove it to myself that I can do stuff like I did in Mexico last year, just on a consistent basis.”

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