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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo admits homesickness made McLaren lows 'even harder'

Daniel Ricciardo was unable to see his family in Australia during the 2021 F1 season, which proved to be a difficult year at times for the McLaren driver.

Ricciardo Monza
To news overview © McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo admits that being away from his family made his struggles during the 2021 F1 season even harder to deal with.

The Australian faced some difficulties in adapting to the McLaren car in his first year with the Woking-based squad. At the same time, he was unable to return home to see his loved ones due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst Ricciardo feels he has "family" within the team, he found it challenging to be without the support of his relatives.

"It made the year even harder," Ricciardo told Auto Motor und Sport.

"The lows feel even deeper. I do have a family around me in McLaren. But not my family. It's not even about them putting their arm around me. It's more about switching off.

"A family can be a very nice sanctuary. That's why it was hard without them."

Ricciardo was finally able to reunite with his family over the winter break, and is looking forward to being able to spend more time with them in the future.

"This job is hard because it keeps you away from your loved ones," he explained.

"If the world can open up again, I will take advantage of it as much as I can. I will take my family and friends to as many races as possible."

Good relationship with McLaren made struggles "frustrating"

Ricciardo might often be away from his loved ones, but he already feels at home with the McLaren team, so much so that he thinks this made his struggles with the car even more challenging.

"That's probably why the first half of the season was even more frustrating, because I really like the environment and I have a good relationship with the team," Ricciardo said.

"Everything other than the stopwatch was pretty good, but obviously I just didn't give them what I wanted to give. That was tough.

"But moments like Monza, even Austin... Austin was also a good weekend for me. These weekends are so much cooler because I get on really well with the team. I like their way of racing. I'm happy about the support I had."

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