Daniel Ricciardo relates to Sebastian Vettel in terms of still delivering on their day after a good show in F1 Mexico GP.
For whatever reasons, it hasn’t worked out for Ricciardo at McLaren where Lando Norris has comfortably beaten him in a more or less straight fight. The Australian has struggled to adapt which forced the team for an early release from his contract.
After much public outcry, McLaren finally were able to announce Oscar Piastri as his replacement for 2023 alongside Norris in a relatively young pairing. Ricciardo is certain to not race in F1 next year but a reserve role is still possible amid speculations.
Both Mercedes and Red Bull seem to be his point of interest where the former has lost Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne from the role, while the latter is already down after the departure of Alexander Albon, with Sebastien Buemi still doing the job.
In his period with McLaren, Ricciardo has had moments of glory and the Mexico GP was nothing short where he made the strategy work and also erased his 10s time penalty to be the best of the rest, especially after a huge downer in Austin.
For Ricciardo, it wasn’t anything to prove but he related with Vettel who is retiring from F1 but has put in some solid performances off late. “I still know I can, it’s hard when you can’t do it week in week out,” he said to media. “And it’s a bit like Vettel those last few races, he did phenomenal races, and then people are questioning, is it time to retire?
“I think all of us can still do it on our day. Obviously, it’s just like the consistency for whatever reason, but yeah, I still love it. And still want to still want to get to the front. I guess better late than never. But look, I took Mexico for what it is like. I enjoyed it and appreciate that we did our pace and it was awesome and whatever.
“I hope it means that it’ll be like that the next two races but I don’t…not to be negative. But I didn’t wish to look ahead. I wanted to take Mexico for what it was,” summed up Ricciardo, who noted that he didn’t wish to feel down especially in a place in Austin which he dearly loved but stated that at times he felt like a passenger with little to play with.
“It’s not typical in a place like Austin for me to feel like that,” said Ricciardo. “There’s so much about that weekend that I love. So it has to be pretty bad for me to feel like that in a place like that. It’s just, yeah, it’s like there’s been a lot of times where I’ve felt a little bit like a passenger in a way like.
“I just feel like I’ve worked with such little grip that no amount of talent is going to get the job done, if you know what I mean. So that’s where it’s just I felt a little bit helpless at times. So, you feel like you can’t show really anything that you’ve got. Because you’re just not operating on the level of the others.
“So in that regard, in Mexico to kind of be able to at least lean on it and push and have pace. Being a guy that’s setting quick times makes me happy. I wish it could have been like this more often. But as I said I took it and enjoyed it and happy that we got a week off, so I could enjoy it for a week,” summed up Ricciardo.
Here’s Lando Norris on Red Bull talks and why McLaren
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo on strategy in Mexico