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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo on 2022 struggles – I wouldn't quit mid-season

A difficult year resulted in Daniel Ricciardo losing his McLaren drive for 2023. But the Australian says he never thought about walking away from F1 mid-season.

Ricciardo Monaco
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Daniel Ricciardo says despite his tough 2022 season, he never considered quitting F1 during the middle of the year.

Having been generally shaded by teammate Lando Norris in 2021 despite winning that year's Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo was overwhelmingly overshadowed by the Briton in 2022, scoring just 37 points to Norris' 122.

Such was Ricciardo's underperformance that McLaren elected to terminate the Australian's contract one year early and replace him with rookie Oscar Piastri from 2023 onwards.

Though several teams are changing drivers for 2023, Ricciardo never seemed to be seriously in the running for any of the available seats, and is set to spend next year on F1's sidelines as he takes up a role as test and reserve driver with his former team Red Bull.

But despite his struggles in 2022, Ricciardo said he never considered walking away from the sport before the end of the season, as F1 luminaries such as James Hunt, Nigel Mansell and Juan Pablo Montoya all had.

Ricciardo – Quitting is the easy way out

"I knew the reality that it's not like my season was going to turn around, because I felt like it would have done so already," Ricciardo told the Beyond The Grid podcast.

"I knew that there was probably some struggles ahead, but I also believed that there would be some good races ahead, so that was enough to keep me in it.

"In a way, I felt like [quitting mid-season] would have been the easy way out. [That's] not me, it's not my character. I still wanted to show up and try to pull off some good results."

Despite a difficult year, Ricciardo did well at the Singapore Grand Prix, where he finished a season's-best fifth, and the Australian noted that one good race can make a season of struggle worthwhile.

"This sport can create such short-term memory, where you could struggle like hell for 15 races, and then you have a big race, and you're like, 'Oh, that was worth it'," said Ricciardo.

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