Ricciardo opens up on 'burning feeling' that fueled Monza win


Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he was spurred on in the Italian GP by a "burning feeling" sparked by the rage he felt after missing out on a top-three performance in qualifying.

In Friday's qualifying session at Monza, Ricciardo clocked in fifth, just 0.006s behind McLaren teammate Lando Norris.

The Aussie vented his frustration over missing out on a spot on the second row for Saturday's sprint race, but deep down inside, massive rage was simmering.

Speaking during McLaren's Italian Grand Prix celebrations on Wednesday at Woking, Ricciardo opened up on the ebullient frame of mind that conditioned his approached to last Sunday's race.

"I was pretty dark after the qualifying," he explained. "Something in me, I was like: I just don't want to be here anymore in terms of like...I want to win, I want to be the guy.

"Being like close, it just fueled me more than anything. Obviously, it [qualifying] was good and the team were: 'it's a good session, you should be happy'. And I appreciate that it was, relative to this year it was a good session. But that's when the competitor in me just really came out.

"I can't even explain it. It was just like something, like a burning feeling inside of me, and I was just like: ‘no, it's not good enough.’

"I was like blinkers on for the rest of the weekend. It's easy to say now because I won. But like, honestly, there was something that came over me, particularly after Friday evening, and I was I guess a man on a mission."

Ricciardo equated the "primal" blend of anger and assurance that ignited in Italy to the emotions he felt during his breakthrough year with Red Bull in 2014, when he comprehensively outpaced four-time world champion and teammate Sebastian Vettel.

"I've definitely carried confidence through race weekends, and it has been there at moments for sure, but not to that level," explained the Aussie.

"That was something that hopefully not many can relate to, because it feels kind of primal. But it's why I do it as well.

"I don't just say that to sound cool in front of the camera. It truly is just the other side to me, which, when it does come out, I know that it's so powerful.

"It was like 2014, when I had what you can call the breakthrough year. That's when I got to let those emotions show on track. And that's why it became so powerful for me."


Ricciardo's vibes spurred him on at Monza, but the Honey Badger believes his "angry" confidence can be sustained moving forward this season.

"I believe so," he added. "I want to be there, because just the competitor in me, I like that. I like that kind of fire in me.

"It's kind of like the chip on the shoulder: I like that feeling. It kind of makes you feel alive. And it's a good angry.

"You take a lot of energy from that anger. But after the weekend, I don't think it's like I need to tap into that place all the time to get it out of myself.

"I think I drew a lot of confidence from that weekend, and also the team, I think a lot of them have supported me and believed in me from the start.

"The weekend kind of just reassured everyone, so I think as a team moving forward, we can be quietly confident."

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