Australian F1 star Daniel Ricciardo insists he’s still “on fire” and not giving up

Australian F1 star Daniel Ricciardo insists he still has “fire in his stomach” and is not giving up a grid sport despite weeks of turmoil and speculation

  • Daniel Ricciardo says he still has what it takes to be an F1 winner in the future
  • The Australian will use the last eight events as an open application for a new team
  • Ricciardo showed his skills last year, winning the Italian Grand Prix for McLaren

F1 star Daniel Ricciardo may move from McLaren at the end of the season but the Australian insists his winning streak will return and says the fire is still in his stomach.

Ricciardo will wrap up with McLaren in eight races, completing the final year of his contract with a pen.

The 33-year-old has contested 12 seasons in Formula 1 and has enjoyed a decorative career marked by a massive win at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last year.

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of Ricciardo’s most recent win, during which he told his McLaren crew on team radio, ‘I’m never gone’.

Daniel Ricciardo pumps his fist after winning the 2021 Italian Grand Prix in a big way

Daniel Ricciardo pumps his fist after winning the 2021 Italian Grand Prix in a big way

Daniel Ricciardo publicly announces to his Instagram followers that he is parting ways with McLaren at the end of the season

Daniel Ricciardo publicly announces to his Instagram followers that he is parting ways with McLaren at the end of the season

Unfortunately for the West Australian, he struggled to appear in his second season for McLaren – becoming known as Britain’s Lando Norris’ second driver.

Ricciardo’s driving future was placed above a media cloud for months, but the eight-time podium champion says he is relieved McLaren has made a decision.

‘[It made] the act of driving a little bit sweeter,” Ricciardo told Code Sports.

The former Redbull driver has never been behind the wheel of a number one car but has fought his way to two third places in the Drivers’ Championship (2014 and 2016), where he was at a career-best.

The number three says he still has a lot to prove in Formula 1 and believes he is capable of shaking up the rankings in the coming seasons should he decide to sign elsewhere.

Ricciardo jokes with teammate Lando Norris during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

Ricciardo jokes with teammate Lando Norris during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

“It’s a shame that … I haven’t been able to show the real me often enough in the last 18 months.

Winning is fun. Winning makes me happy… the fire in my stomach is still there. It didn’t go away.’

Ricciardo then joined Renault on a two-year, $50 million deal, where he left without a win and was picked up by the McLaren team in 2021.

He currently sits 13th in the Drivers’ Championship and at this pace will be his worst year at the wheel since 2013.

Ricciardo says he’s had a lot of nice messages from fellow drivers like Sergio Perez, who knows how it feels to be in the hot seat.

Podium finisher Daniel Ricciardo celebrates at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix

Podium finisher Daniel Ricciardo celebrates at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix

Next year is still up in the air for the Down Under star, who hasn’t received any offers but says he will either take a short break from the sport or return with a new team.

Ricciardo has donned the helmet 224 times in his career and has been with a new team every two years since 2017.

The remaining F1 events will serve as a bid for him, starting on Sunday night’s Dutch Grand Prix where he will need to take early steps to move up from 17th on the grid.

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Maureen Mackey

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