Ricciardo ignoring outside noise on F1 performances as pressure comes “from me more than anyone”

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
Spread the love

Daniel Ricciardo has faced a tough start to the 2024 F1 season. Historically known for daring overtakes and superb pace during his Red Bull and Renault days, Ricciardo has been struggling to connect with the VCARB 01 — particularly in qualifying — and is yet to score a single point thus far.

Trailing behind his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who has already secured 7 points, it’s inevitable people are speculating about Ricciardo’s future within the RB F1 team, and F1 as a whole.

After an injury sidelined Ricciardo for five races last season, reserve driver Liam Lawson’s impressive performances sparked speculation about his permanent place in the RB line-up. 

Lawson currently holds the role of reserve driver at Red Bull and RB F1, and many deem him worthy of a spot on the grid. 

When questioned about pressure in the sport, Ricciardo acknowledged these expectations. However, the 34-year-old noted that the greatest pressure comes from within himself. 

“I say yes, but my answer is it’s from me more than anyone [else]. Of course I’m sure there is from the outside, but I came into this season having a full pre-season, I had a really good winter, I trained my butt off, and I feel really good.

“Everything in my head and through my years of experience tells me that we should start the season firing on all cylinders.”

The Honey Badger reflected on the Australian Grand Prix, trying to focus on the silver linings of an otherwise disappointing weekend.

“Whatever is maybe just missing at the moment will click.

“Even Melbourne, obviously I was probably disappointed on paper with the weekend of course and not getting points and the quali and all that, but when we kind of analysed the race, it wasn’t as sad as it probably looked or seemed.

“We had good race pace and I think there is some good things that we’re taking, we just need to put it together now, that I will do.”

Asked if he’s had feedback from Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko over his start to the campaign, Ricciardo acknowledged the team’s and Austrian’s expectations, and the importance of delivering results for RB F1.

Nonetheless, he wants to concentrate on continuing to working hard with his engineers and ignore the outside noise.

“I also know what he expects and wants, and it’s exactly what I want.

“I know it’s 24 races and it’s a long season, and [if] I have two good races now and all of a sudden it’s forgotten the bad ones. Every race that passes is another one that is ‘okay, okay’.

“Not having the results I want, I’m sure is also not what he wants or the team want.

“But it’s important I think for us to, like Pierre [Hamelin], Patrick [Inzinger], my two engineers have been working their butts off and it’s important that we just focus on ourselves and don’t get kind of distracted by anything else.

“Of course, we all want the result but it’s not going to come from receiving suggestions or advice or anything else from someone, so we’ll just stay on course.”

As an eight-time Grand Prix winner, Ricciardo is confident that he will become at one with the car and score some valuable points this season.

“I know it will come — unfortunately it hasn’t come yet — but I definitely have faith.”

His path to finding his best form is not without its obstacles. The Japanese Grand Prix saw Ricciardo’s potential destroyed, due to a first-lap collision with Alex Albon, causing both drivers to DNF. 

He had produced a much stronger qualifying, placing P11 and missing out on Q3 by 0.055s to his teammate Yuki Tsunoda.