In the latest episode of F1’s podcast Beyond the grid, Daniel Ricciardo talks on his passion for competing at the pinnacle of motorsport relating to that maiden win this year in Monza, says: “As long as I’ve been doing this, it still feels like, with the click of a finger, I can take myself back to being a kid, putting F1 in his dreamworld.”
Being one of the most talented drivers in F1 and having proven that during his whole five years with the Red Bull team, Ricciardo admits the lacking of a World Drivers Championship kept him awake at night.
"There was a time where I was a little bit bitter, like, 'I should have had a title by now, this sucks, why don't I, wrong place, wrong time', or this or that."
"But maybe that's the growth in me or the maturity where I don't think that anymore.”
"I'm still here because I believe I can win a title, and I want to win a title. But I'm at peace with whatever happens, as long as I go out and leave it all on the track, I'll get fulfillment," expressed the 32-year-old.
With that mentality of bitter regret during his Red Bull and Renault days, Daniel Ricciardo assures he changed perspectives to face challenges with McLaren, says if he doesn’t, he will be not getting the most out of the time he will spend with the Woking-based team.
"Say I'm at McLaren for five years, and we don't get a title, I don't want to look back on the five years as a failure. Because then it's like, 'OK, that's five years of my life that I'm just flushing down the toilet'. Five years of your life is a lot of time.”
"That's maybe the mindset switch that I've made. Don't get me wrong, it has not made me any softer or less driven or less motivated. But I want to enjoy my time here in the sport.”
"The goal is to be world champion, and I think that is why I will wake up every morning with the desire to do this. But I don't want that to dictate my whole happiness.”
"I've been doing this 10 years. I'm not world champion yet, so there's no guarantee it will happen.”
The brilliant and unexpected victory for McLaren and Ricciardo at the Italian GP lifted the weight of a poor first year with the team off the Australian’s shoulders. Now, more than a month later, he still recognizes that moment as a pure bliss experience.
"I just don't want to put all my eggs in one basket and then be miserable for the rest of my life because I haven't done it.”
"Winning in Monza was probably all I needed to give me all the happiness in 2021. That also proved that you can get so much from not just the world title," the Australian concluded.