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Ricciardo addressed F1 future speculation ‘from the horse’s mouth’

Daniel Ricciardo wanted to “let everyone know from the horse’s mouth” that he would not be leaving McLaren or Formula 1 next season after recently addressing speculation about his future.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

After joining McLaren at the start of last season, Ricciardo initially struggled for form before bouncing back after the summer break by scoring the team’s first win in almost nine years at Monza.

But the Australian has again found himself a step behind teammate Lando Norris through the early part of the year, leading to suggestions he faces an uncertain future with McLaren.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown previously confirmed there were “mechanisms” within Ricciardo’s contract where he would not race for the team next year, but Ricciardo has been firm that he will be at Woking next season.

Ricciardo took to social media last week to issue a statement addressing rumours about his future, saying he was “not walking away” from either McLaren or F1 in 2023.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the rationale behind posting the message, Ricciardo said it was to address “a lot of noise.”

“People [were] kind of questioning, coming up with their own answers, and it was kind of building I guess,” Ricciardo said.

“I said look, I obviously know what my future is, so I’m just going to let everyone know. I guess for people that follow me and my supporters, [wondering] ‘what’s Daniel going to do? Is this going to be it?’ And I was like no, no, no, not at all.

“So I was like, it’s time to let everyone know from the horse’s mouth.”

Ricciardo has scored 17 points so far this season, recording a best finish of sixth in Australia as one of only three top-10 finishes. By comparison, teammate Lando Norris has 64 points and a podium to his name at Imola.

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Daniel Ricciardo has generally struggled to match Lando Norris over the past 15 months

Daniel Ricciardo has generally struggled to match Lando Norris over the past 15 months

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Ricciardo made clear he did not feel at any point that he would struggle to continue racing in F1 with his form as it is, saying even the low moments gave him the motivation to fight back.

“Long story short, no,” he said.

“Even if it’s a Q1 exit, the frustration is like, 'this again,’ or ‘how am I out in Q1?’ For sure there is a frustration, and I’ve admitted sometimes that in a way, I hate the sport, because you just deal with these highs and lows so often.

“But I feel like the days that I also can find myself in a way hating it, I also love it, because the feeling that I get and what that does and how that ignites me, and I guess that feeling in my gut, it’s like, I actually love this.

“Of course I would love to just be on the top all the time, whatever, but the feeling I get is still real, even through those lows.

“That belief and everything that I get, as soon as the emotion and that wave of frustration blows over, give it 10 minutes, half an hour, whatever it is, I’m then like, once I reset, like yeah, I still want this.

“I still believe I can do it. The day I retire is the day that I lose that feeling, is the day that I lose that belief and will to want to keep doing it.

“I truly feel like I’m still pretty far from that.”

Ricciardo was also confident that he still has full commitment from McLaren about his future, and that his message was also to ease any concerns for those working within the team.

“I’ve got that commitment in the team,” Ricciardo said.

“There’s a lot of people in the factory. In all these race teams, there’s hundreds of people that work in the factory that don’t come trackside and don’t get to see everything, don’t get to see me on a race weekend as well, even if it’s the work I’m putting in or whatever.

“Also for them, if they’re just reading some headlines on what’s Daniel’s future, is he going to move to another team, for them also if they’re trying to develop the car for me, if they’re like what’s Daniel going to do, I wanted to remove any doubt for them as well.

“So I wanted to address them and say guys, I’m in this with you, and to draw a line under that.”

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Edition

Australia