Daniel Ricciardo overtaken by F1 not having dominated in junior
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he was overwhelmed by Formula 1 when he first entered the sport, failing to dominate as he progressed through the junior categories.
The Australian made his Formula 1 debut with the Hispania Racing team in the 2011 British Grand Prix, making eleven starts for the team after being placed in the squad through the Red Bull Young Driver scheme.
Ricciardo moved to Toro Rosso in 2012 before joining the senior Red Bull team in 2013, where at the Canadian Grand Prix he took his first Grand Prix victory before winning two more races that year in Belgium and Spain. Hungary.
The Australian joined Renault in 2019, spending two seasons with the team, his best result being a pair of third places at the Nurburgring and the Imola circuit.
Ricciardo now finds himself at McLaren, a veteran of the Formula 1 grid, but looking back to those early days as he made his Formula 1 breakthrough, the bubbly Australian has been slow to find his footing.
Joining a grid that included former world champions like Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, Ricciardo took on the challenge of discovering his self-confidence, having failed to win a junior title beyond British Formula 3.
“It was tough coming from Australia and getting into F1, I’m sure there are many parts of the world that are rather disconnected from the circus, and Perth is certainly one of them,” he told the Corriere dello Sport. Gypsy Tales Podcast.
“But then, a few years later, I was there on the grid with Schumacher and the drivers I idolized as a kid, and I was in awe. At that point, I wondered what I was doing there.
“As a boy I was obviously good – but I wasn’t dominating, and there were no real signs that I would have. At the start, then, I was definitely a bit overwhelmed.
“It was a learning process to try to make myself feel more comfortable and to believe in myself more.
“Even if it was Schumacher, Alonso or Raikkonen, however, each of them had to go through the same path, you try to make everyone around you more human so that you don’t make them seem so foreign. “
On the first day, he is already ready to do mischief in the office. 😆
—McLaren (@McLarenF1) February 2, 2022
Ricciardo scored his first win in McLaren colors when he led a home side to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the first time McLaren had done so since Canada 2010.
The Aussie will be alongside teammate Lando Norris next week when they unveil the 2022 MCL36 at the McLaren Technology Center.