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Daniel Ricciardo

Why Ricciardo thought he could see light at the end of the tunnel

Daniel Ricciardo looks set to lose his McLaren seat at the end of the 2022 season, having struggled to live with the pace of teammate Lando Norris.

Ricciardo Hungary
To news overview © XPBimages

Daniel Ricciardo has explained how he felt he was "getting closer" to a breakthrough moment with McLaren before F1's summer break.

As recently revealed by RacingNews365.com, Ricciardo is set to be replaced by Oscar Piastri for the 2023 campaign amid a flurry of activity in the driver market.

It would mark the end of a largely disappointing partnership between Ricciardo and McLaren, which had promised so much when they joined forces in 2021.

Ricciardo has been consistently out-qualified and out-raced by teammate Lando Norris during their one-and-a-half season spell together so far, with the young Briton holding four times as many points in this year's championship standings.

Ricciardo felt he was "getting closer" to a breakthrough

But despite the ongoing deficit to Norris, the Australian saw reasons to be positive for the second half of the season.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365.com shortly before the summer break, Ricciardo outlined the steps he felt he was making with the team.

"It's been a process. Of course, a longer process than myself or probably anyone in the team would have desired, but I feel like we're getting closer," he said, when asked about "getting the old Ricciardo back".

"Since Monaco, and it doesn't always translate to the result on track, but in terms of our understanding, what I'm feeling, the way I'm relaying that information to the team, I feel like we're getting closer to kind of address the issue.

"[We are addressing] where it stems from, what we need to do to fix it and develop the car and all of this. In a way, that's motivated a lot of people [in the team]."

Ricciardo: Retiring from F1 is the easy way out

One of few highs for Ricciardo at McLaren was victory in last year's Italian Grand Prix, and he admitted repeating that "euphoric" feeling remained his motivation.

Asked about how he has pushed through the struggles, and whether retirement has been a consideration, Ricciardo added: "That's the easy way out, I guess.

"It's not even that. It goes back to what I still feel. Even if it's a bad weekend and I'm still upset on the Sunday night, 99 per cent of the time I'm waking up Monday and I'm just like, 'The switch is flipped', and it's back to the next thing.

"I guess all the signs are there that I still want this as much as I always have. And, of course, the competitor in me... you find other bits of motivation, you find whatever you need to keep you going.

"The answer is, I'm still finding a lot to keep me going – it's as simple as that."

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