Daniel Ricciardo “crazy” championship prediction for McLaren, Belgian Grand Prix
Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo believes McLaren could become a contender for the championship, but not before his contract with the British team expires.
McLaren chief executive Zak Brown last month claimed the team would be in a prime position to fight for the title in 2024.
The development of their own wind tunnel was announced in 2019, but construction has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Ricciardo signed for McLaren last season on a three-year contract, keeping him with the Woking-based squad until 2023.
The 32-year-old is optimistic McLaren can close the gap with F1 powerhouses Mercedes and Red Bull, but the process could take several seasons.
“I understand the team is on a great trajectory, but now there are still a few hurdles in place that are probably going to prevent us from, say, fighting for a championship for the next year or two,” said Ricciardo. .
“But it’s kind of a reality now that the wind tunnel is a pretty big piece of the puzzle. This may be the last piece of the puzzle for the team.
“I think, looking at it now, I’m really looking to try and continue to build where I am now over the next couple of years with McLaren, and then hopefully put myself in a privileged position for this season. 24.
“It seems crazy to talk so far. But yes, sometimes you have to think like that.
His McLaren teammate Lando Norris is currently third in the drivers’ standings with 113 points and three podium finishes to his name.
However, Ricciardo struggled to adjust to the team’s finicky MCL35M, with reports the Aussie is having issues with the car’s brake system.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely trying. I want all the glory today! But I guess experience tells me it’s definitely a process, ”he said.
“But I guess with age, wisdom and probably maturity there is more composure than, say, when I was younger I expected the world from everything and that just didn’t happen. .
“So yeah, I probably would’ve had a few temper tantrums already and lost him mentally so to speak.
“So this is where being here for a while helps to catch your breath, take a step back, get through it and understand that there is a reason why things aren’t going well in the future.” this moment. I have to find answers instead of just putting my hands up and walking away from it all.
Ricciardo hasn’t won an F1 race since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, when he represented Red Bull alongside youngster Max Verstappen.
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The Perth driver admitted he had been forced to adapt his mindset to stay motivated since leaving Red Bull.
“In a way, you have to change a bit. I don’t know his state of mind, his goals, his purpose, but you have to create different wins in your mind where one win may not always be the first place, ”he said.
“To come back to last year, a victory at Renault put this car on the podium. I knew that if I was able to do it, it would give me that satisfaction.
“So ultimately, yeah, nothing beats winning and that’s what I signed up for when I was young trying to do all of that.
“I know you’re only going to win if you’re part of this top team or maybe these four cars a year. If you’re not, you need to set other goals and keep your stock high, keep your motivation high.
“It’s probably the only sport in the world that has such a low winning percentage. Like… I’m going to talk about a team sport – 50 percent of the time you win. Where in F1 I don’t know, my win ratio is probably two percent or something like that. It’s crazy. You find other ways to profit from it, I guess.
The F1 season resumes next weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix, which is due to start on Sunday August 29 at 11 p.m. AEST.