Despite being McLaren’s first race winner in nearly 10 years after taking victory at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, it has been a difficult last two seasons for Daniel Ricciardo.
With Ricciardo now looking set to depart from McLaren at the end of 2022, he reflected on how careers can change quickly in an interview with Motorsport.com - using Sergio Perez’s career at Red Bull as a recent example.
“When his career looked over, and now he’s potentially fighting for a world championship. The sport can change so quickly,” said Ricciardo.
Perez was about to lose his seat at Racing Point as the team transitioned into Aston Martin and signed Sebastian Vettel as his replacement, but a decision for Red Bull to drop Alex Albon paved the way for a switch to the top team.
Since joining the team he’s regularly challenged for podiums and race wins, even getting his first pole at Jeddah earlier this year.
Long-term projects take time to build
Like many teams including Aston Martin and Alpine, McLaren has also been investing in new facilities so it can fight with bigger teams at the top.
Ricciardo reflected on how it can take time for things to materialise before teams regularly fight for podiums and eventually wins.
“I was saying it when I was 27, ‘ah, I’m getting older!’ - in a way, yes, I’m getting older, but I think also I know a bit more about the sport now, and I know that things do take time”
“We all believe we can win. So it’s like, well I want to win tomorrow, but it’s not always like that. Even now, talking about 2024 or ’25, in a way it’s hard to think that far ahead. But it’ll come around quickly.”