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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo: F1 world title won't 'dictate' my happiness

The McLaren driver says he had a mindset switch that has changed the way he feels about success in Formula 1 and how it affects him.

Article
To news overview © McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he will not see his time at McLaren as a failure if he doesn't win the Formula 1 World Championship.

Ricciardo made his F1 debut 10 years ago at the British Grand Prix and is yet to mount a serious title challenge, having driven for HRT, Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Renault and his current team McLaren.

The Australian says his target is still to become World Champion but insists he will not let his happiness deteriorate if he fails to achieve his goal.

"Say I'm at McLaren for five years and we don't get a title, I don't want to look back on the five years as a failure," Ricciardo said on the Beyond The Grid podcast.

"Because then it's like, 'OK, that's five years of my life that I'm just flushing down the toilet'. Five years of your life is a lot of time.

"That's maybe the mindset switch that I've made. Don't get me wrong, it has not made me any softer or less driven or less motivated. But I want to enjoy my time here in the sport.

"The goal is to be World Champion, and I think that is why I will wake up every morning with the desire to do this. But I don't want that to dictate my whole happiness because I've been doing this 10 years. I'm not World Champion yet, so there's no guarantee it will happen.

"I just don't want to put all my eggs in one basket and then be miserable for the rest of my life because I haven't done it.

"Winning in Monza was probably all I needed to give me all the happiness in 2021. That also proved that you can get so much from not just the world title."

Ricciardo won his eighth F1 race last month at the Italian GP to end his winless drought which dated back to the 2018 Monaco GP.

He thinks he can still become champion but seems to be more focused on ensuring that he leaves everything out on the race track.

"There was a time where I was a little bit bitter, like, 'I should have had a title by now'," Ricciardo said.

"But maybe that's the growth in me or the maturity where I don't think that anymore. I'm still here because I believe I can win a title, and I want to win a title.

"I'm at peace with whatever happens, as long as I go out and leave it all on the track, I'll get fulfilment."

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