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Daniel Ricciardo ‘never lost faith’ amid difficult McLaren season as Australian returns to winning ways

“You can easily get lost,” admits Daniel Ricciardo as he discusses Monza win, a difficult yr and his summer season “reset”; McLaren hail “proven racer” Ricciardo after first victory in 9 years

Last Updated: 15/09/21 6:03am

Daniel Ricciardo says he “never lost faith” in his capability regardless of his three-year victory drought and difficult debut season with McLaren, as the Australian displays on a exceptional Italian GP victory and explains the “reset” that helped him regain some type of outdated.

Ricciardo has been on a midfield journey since leaving Red Bull in 2018 as he, to the shock of the paddock, joined Renault after which McLaren – however put an finish to two lengthy waits on one chaotic Sunday at Monza, returning to the highest of the rostrum, whereas additionally claiming his workforce’s first win in 9 years.

The end result got here amid a difficult season for Ricciardo, who has struggled to get to grips with the McLaren automobile and has been overshadowed by younger team-mate Lando Norris.

“It’s been the most challenging year I’ve had in a long time,” Ricciardo, now an eight-time Grand Prix winner, admitted to Sky Sports F1.

“But it’s also made me understand more about myself as a person, and as a competitor. How much it still means to me, how much I want it.

Italian GP: Two droughts ended

Ricciardo’s last win Monaco GP, 2018
McLaren’s last win Brazilian GP, 2012

“The weekend was a little bit of a product of that. Already on Friday evening I had a chip on my shoulder. But that is loopy, to be the man that will get the primary win for the workforce in 9 years is fairly particular.”

Ricciardo added that “there have been lows this yr however deep down I by no means lost religion or the assumption” as he comes to terms with his momentous achievement.

“You can simply get lost,” he said. “You know, deep down I might have moments of frustration or moments of, yeah, dropping my head, however I sort of made some extent by no means to let that final. I additionally made some extent to try to achieve one thing from it and study from it.

“For a moment you fall out of love with the sport but actually the clarity you get afterwards it kind of makes you realise how much you do love it and how much you want it. I would back myself to the hilt.”

After winning his first race for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was clearly emotional when speaking with Sky F1's Rachel Brookes

After winning his first race for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was clearly emotional when talking with Sky F1’s Rachel Brookes

After winning his first race for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was clearly emotional when talking with Sky F1’s Rachel Brookes

Ricciardo credited a summer season “reset” with inspiring some type. “First half of the year I was trying to play catch-up and learn about the car, so I was always in, in, in,” he stated. “The August break kind of forced me to get away from it. I spent it in the States and I just got away. I spent time in nature, at a friend’s ranch, and it was just the time I needed to just reset.

“I really assume that helped this weekend get to this place.”

He also admitted to a “pinch me second” of winning for McLaren.

“I’m sorry if I sound a bit self-absorbed now however after I consider McLaren I consider (Ayrton) Senna. That’s the early recollections and I’ve seen you already know, just like the trophies within the cupboard on the MTC and to have a winning trophy now with my title in just about the identical cupboard is loopy,” he stated.

After winning the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo celebrates by doing his traditional 'shoey' celebration

After winning the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo celebrates by doing his traditional ‘shoey’ celebration

After winning the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo celebrates by doing his traditional ‘shoey’ celebration

McLaren, meanwhile, are more than happy with their decision to bring Ricciardo on board.

“As we all know, Lando has had a sensational season to this point,” team boss Andreas Seidl told Sky F1. “Daniel struggled with integration, getting used to our automobile at first.

“But there’s a reason why we wanted to get him on board – because he’s a proven racer and he’s one of the best in our sport. It’s great to see after the break that it’s coming.”

The season continues on September 26 with the Russian GP, stay on Sky Sports F1.

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