Unregretful Ricciardo says past losses in F1 are 'lessons learned'


Daniel Ricciardo says he has no regrets over how his life in the fast lane has unfolded in F1, believing that the losses and disappointments from the past are just "lessons learned".

After leaving Red Bull Racing at the end of 2018 in search of an inspiring new challenge, Ricciardo's path led him to Renault and then to McLaren, the Aussie spending two seasons with each outfit.

But save for his remarkable win in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix with team papaya, F1's 'Honey Badger' had little to show for his efforts with either team.

Renault's inability to field a machine capable of fighting consistently among the front runners absolved Ricciardo of the team's underperformance.

But at McLaren it was the other way around, with the Aussie persistently struggling to measure up to his team and to his own expectations for reasons that remain to this day unclear.

Before his return to the fray with AlphaTauri earlier this summer, Ricciardo's time on the sidelines following his premature exit from Woking offered him a salutary pause in his racing life and a moment to reflect on the good as well as the bad and learn to be at peace with his career as a whole.

"I think it’s probably at that age now as well where I don’t really look back on anything with regret," he said, quoted by Speedcafe.

"They’re not necessarily losses, they’re lessons learned. And yeah, of course, I would love to have won more in my career, but then maybe winning would have got boring and maybe I would have not appreciated that as much, or whatever.

"I wouldn’t change it. As long as I can continue to, I would say just grow and become better from experience then I’m pretty content."

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTauri AT04. 30.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Despite his unfortunate injury sustained in practice at the Dutch Grand Prix that curtailed his return to the grid, Ricciardo has retained his seat with AlphaTauri for 2024.

And he's certainly excited about the prospect of enjoying a complete campaign next year and where it may lead him in the future.

"Very excited to be with a contract on the grid for next year," Ricciardo said. "This time a year ago, I was honestly unsure about really just what I wanted. I wasn’t sure.

"Obviously, I’d never thought about… My whole life has been racing and I’ve put everything into it, so you’re not really sure, okay, when is that time going to come where ‘maybe is it time for a change?’

"I was definitely questioning ‘oh, am I going to have those feelings’ that, this is it."

Last winter, Ricciardo traveled down under to his home country to spend time with his family and friends.

Mentally, it was a healthful and productive period for the 34-year-old that cleared up a lot of the doubts and uneasiness lingering in his mind.

"The first part of this year, I learned a lot about myself, and I think what I want and how I want to go about my career moving forward," he explained.

"It really reignited me and gave me that second wind that I was hoping for – but wasn’t forcing.

"So now that I’ve got that and have something confirmed for next year, I’m a very, very hungry young man again."

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