Ricciardo Opens Up About Dark Period In His Career He 'Wanted To Be Over'

Wednesday, 20 March 2024 at 01:45
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Daniel Ricciardo's career has been a proper rollercoaster, and there were certain moments he just waited for to be over.
From Toro Rosso to Red Bull, to the infamous move to Renault and then to McLaren, before returning to AlphaTauri. That has been Ricciardo's career in F1 so far, and while some moves were successful, the others were less so.
After two unsuccessful seasons in Renault, the Australian driver moved to McLaren in 2021 in the hope of rediscovering his old form. However, things seemingly turned even worse as he struggled to find the same pace he was known for.
Already during his second season with the team, his contract was ended early, and in August, during the 2022 season, he learned that he wouldn't have a seat in F1 in 2023.
Recently, Ricciardo spoke to Australian publication The Age. In a candid interview, he opened up about that period, admitting that he lost his motivation.

"From mid-2022 I actually no longer had a job. I didn't know what to do, I really had to do my best to enjoy it. I struggled a lot with my motivation, I actually just wanted it to be over."

But then, the Australian driver got an opportunity from AlphaTauri, which had rebranded to RB in the meantime, and he suddenly recovered all of his motivation.
Not only that, Ricciardo wanted to bring back his old self, and according to his own words, he even fell in love with the sport again, and it showed immediately when he returned to the paddock in 2023.

"I had energy again, I wanted to bring the old me back. Racing and training are the priority now, everything else will come later. When I came back last year I was really happy because I could fully focus on that. I fell in love with the sport again."

After returning to the F1 grid last year, the 34-year-old is now completing his first full season since 2022, and the start of the season wasn't great for him, especially since he clashed with his own teammate after the first race of the season.
On top of that, he spun and didn't really have a good second race of the season, but Ricciardo believes that despite a slow start, things can turn around quickly.

"The year has started a bit slowly, but it's only two races. I know how quickly that can change."