Daniel Ricciardo had a mixed bag of luck in his maiden season with McLaren in 2021, making the year feel different from his prior F1 experiences.
The 2021 season has been the most emotional rollercoaster of Daniel Ricciardo’s career so far, he reveals.
During his first year with McLaren, the Australian experienced a lot of ups and downs. Following the summer vacation, things seemed to improve after taking some time to acclimate to the car.
Then came the season’s high point, when Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix for the first time since 2018. This was not only a great result for the driver, but it was also a fantastic day for the team, with Lando Norris taking P2 to give the Woking-based team a 1-2 finish.
Nevertheless, in the last months of the year, he had a rough run of races, including three non-points finishes in a row in the November triple-header.
With 115 points, Ricciardo finished ninth in the final World Championship standings.
Comparisons to 2018
Ricciardo agreed that the season had been the most emotional rollercoaster he had ever experienced, however he did see some parallels with the second half of 2018, which turned out to be his final year at Red Bull.
“Yeah, I’d say so,” Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.com.
“The second half of 2018 had its challenges, and at the time that was the most [like an emotional rollercoaster] for me.
“But this year as a whole – yeah, absolutely. Thinking about the first half, and then the highs, and it’s been pretty wild. But I certainly reflect on the second half of the season much better than where I was, kind of reflecting back in August.”
Reflecting on Monza
Ricciardo’s triumph at Monza in September was unquestionably the highlight of his 2021 season, and he believes it has only grown in significance as he has reflected on it more.
“The more time that passes since Monza, the more actually that I realise the effect of that,” he said.
“And I really do think it was the biggest moment, win, race, kind of day, if you will, of my motorsport career.”
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