Daniel Ricciardo began the ultimate lap of final yr’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title showdown proper on the tail of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. What adopted was probably the most dramatic moments in System One historical past, however Ricciardo, lengthy thought to be one among F1’s most proficient drivers, wasn’t a part of it. He was a lap down, a spectator, later explaining how he had combined feelings watching what unfolded on the ultimate lap.
It might have been tough to think about Ricciardo not being the third a part of that type of championship state of affairs just some years in the past. His transfer away from Purple Bull in 2019 is among the nice ‘what ifs’ of recent F1. That transfer was a key a part of the primary season of F1’s wildly profitable Netflix collection Drive to Survive and Ricciardo is one among that present’s bonafide superstars.
But it surely’s onerous to flee the sensation all of it might need been so completely different for him had he stayed as Verstappen’s teammate however Ricciardo makes some extent of not dwelling on the previous.
“It’s simply perspective, and that adjustments every little thing,” Ricciardo advised ESPN forward of Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix”. “I believe by doing it for therefore a few years now, and only a little bit of knowledge, maturity, and perspective, I don’t beat myself up about it anymore.
“I do know after I was 27 or 28 I might say in interviews, like, I’m operating out of time, I’m not world champion but. I used to be a bit bitter about it then. However I’ve type of let that component go.
“When it comes to simply carrying that, I don’t. I by no means needed to hold an anger or bitterness, like ‘oh man, I ought to have, might have, would have’. It’s what it’s.. You simply waste time and power sulking about that stuff.”
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Ricciardo typically delivers performances which remind F1 how good he’s. His fairytale win for McLaren ultimately yr’s Italian Grand Prix had all of the hallmarks of Ricciardo’s Purple Bull days, as he appeared to seek out one other stage as quickly as a sniff of victory introduced itself. It was his first win because the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix.
It’s onerous to flee the sensation his second to win a championship has handed. Ricciardo’s been in F1 for over 10 years, having made his debut on the 2011 British Grand Prix.
He made a curious remark in F1’s promo video for the brand new Las Vegas Grand Prix, joking in an tried American accent: “I used to be gonna retire, however I cannot no extra!”
When requested about it he insisted it’s not a prospect he has realistically thought-about.
“Black and white, It was a joke. That’s like my humour,” Ricciardo advised ESPN.
He then pointed to Blake Good friend, his enterprise manger, sat throughout the McLaren motorhome in the course of the interview.
“Blake sitting over there, I hearth him as soon as per week. ‘Hey mate, you’re fired’ … ‘Yeah I’m gonna retire so that you’re not gonna have a job subsequent yr’. So I do wish to take the piss.”
However Ricciardo appreciates the very fact he’s a lot nearer to the top of his F1 profession than he’s to its starting, on the 2011 British Grand Prix after which full-time from 2012 onwards.
“I believe going deeper into it, no, I’m not contemplating it or something.
“However I’m additionally conscious that I’ve carried out 10, 11 years now. Am I gonna do one other 10 extra? Until I begin successful each race and it makes a whole lot of sense, I don’t have 10 extra in me.
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“So I’m undoubtedly on the second a part of it. I couldn’t let you know now if it’s three years, 5 years, no matter, however I’m conscious that I can’t see myself doing this at 40.
“I’m nonetheless passionate concerning the sport and I nonetheless need to do good in it, in order that’s it. It’s so simple as that. You simply pull again [the negatives]. I’m nonetheless enjoing it. The outcomes aren’t there but. However a unfavorable perspective isn’t going to assist me get these outcomes both.”
Regardless of not having essentially the most aggressive equipment, Ricciardo’s star has been rising away from F1. The Australian was one of many first to understand the facility of the Netflix ‘Drive to Survive’ collection and was one of many focal factors of the primary season – Mercedes and Ferrari didn’t even participate at first.
Forward of this week’s race he appeared on Trevor Noah’s Every day Present and earlier this yr was one among 4 drivers featured in a Self-importance Truthful photoshoot, beforehand uncharted territory for System One.
For Ricciardo the alternatives away from F1 helps with the mindset of being content material with no matter the remainder of his profession would possibly appear like.
“It’s most likely the one time I’ll put on one thing like that! But it surely was cool,” Ricciardo mentioned of the Self-importance Truthful shoot.
“You may find yourself taking [shoots and marketing events] too critically they usually can grow to be a little bit of a chore, however that was enjoyable. I take pleasure in that stuff.
“Like, I don’t get up each morning and put make-up! So it was enjoyable to undergo the method sitting there and being interviewed.”
“I simply laughed. Who would have thought racing would put me on this chair? It’s a enjoyable alternative racing has created. I’m conscious I wouldn’t be doing this if I used to be doing a traditional job. So simply grateful I get to do it.”
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In the course of the pandemic Ricciardo discovered the time to discovered his personal wine firm, which launched ‘DR3’ in 2020. It has grow to be a ardour challenge and the corporate simply launched the second instalment of the wine.
It’s given him the possibility to market one other Ricciardo hallmark – the shoey celebration. Ricciardo has made a behavior when on the rostrum of pouring champagne into his race boot and ingesting from it.
For the brand new vary of wines this yr, the corporate additionally launched a restricted version glass decanter made out of a mould of one among his racing footwear.
It bought out instantly, however regardless of the celebration being so intently related to him, Ricciardo was the final particular person concerned within the firm to suppose it was a good suggestion.
“Somebody on this name got here up with it and I simply wasn’t certain. Normally decanters are fairly elegant wanting, not a person’s boot, so I wasn’t certain.
“A part of me was … I don’t wanna break the shoey! However as soon as I noticed it in actual life I used to be like – bought!
“You simply don’t know if individuals are gonna say I don’t need huge boot sat on my desk subsequent to a bottle of wine. It’s a giant boot.
“However everybody beloved it. It’s humorous.”
Whether or not F1 followers get the possibility to see Ricciardo doing a victorious podium shoey once more stays to be seen, however it will be the game’s loss if the Australian driver by no means will get the tools to problem constantly for race wins.