Daniel Ricciardo is planning on staying in Formula 1 for a few more years, as he continues to chase a World Drivers’ Championship title.
Despite his current underperformance in the 2021 Formula 1 season, continuing to struggle with setup and balance issues surrounding his McLaren MCL35M. Daniel Ricciardo doesn’t plan on retiring from the sport anytime soon.
Coming into McLaren, the Woking-based team had hoped Ricciardo would be somewhat of an upgrade over the Ferrari bound Carlos Sainz. However, while he may have quite the reasonable statistics on paper, he has so far failed to produce the goods this year.
Ricciardo has shone for quick glimpses from race to race, unfortunately though, that shine has been quick to disappear again. With inconsistencies in his form plaguing his ability to qualify up the order and score meaningful points come race day.
Although Ricciardo is yet to find his driving prowess, behind his unusually less cheerful facade, is a driver capable of finishing well inside the points and fighting for a podium place.
The mid-season break that F1 now finds itself on will hopefully provide Ricciardo with some much-needed downtime after a hectic schedule. Along with the chance to breakdown and reflect on his season to date.
Heading to the Belgium Grand Prix when the season returns will see the Australian line up on the grid for his 200th grand prix. And, speaking to Motorsport.com, Ricciardo is happy to hang around for a while yet. As long as he is capable of finishing in the points with the right team.
“You know, it depends on many factors,” Ricciardo said. “In this sport I have always considered myself a winner, so if I were constantly out of points and without a right team behind me I would probably say ‘Okay, my time here is up, goodbye’.
“But at the moment I think I’ll stay a few more years, and in view of the 200 Grand Prix finish line, if I look back on what I see it makes me happy, because getting to Formula 1 is the most difficult goal for a driver to achieve, but also staying there is absolutely not easy.
“So I’m proud of my path, obviously I would have liked a World title but I’m happy and satisfied with the choices I made. Then, in terms of the future, we’ll see what it holds for me.”
Locked in with McLaren until the end of the 2023 F1 season, Ricciardo will have two years of running under the new regulations to decide further on his future. With new cars coming into play for 2022 hoping to provide more competitive and closer racing, his best chance of securing that elusive World Drivers’ Championship title may not yet be out of his grasp.
McLaren have proved that they are on a return path to bring the fight to Red Bull and Mercedes. But while the team expect to remain behind the eight ball next year in terms of performance compared to the two top teams, 2023 may just be Ricciardo’s time.