The McLaren trouble Daniel Ricciardo doesn’t ‘ever’ want to go through again

Michelle Foster
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo gives a thumbs up after qualifying 13th for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo gives a thumbs up after qualifying 13th for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

Getting lost in the details during his time with McLaren, so much so that it robbed him of his natural driving style, Daniel Ricciardo says he doesn’t “ever” want to go through that again.

Joining McLaren in 2021 on a three-year contract, Ricciardo walked away from the team two years into his deal with both parties dissatisfied with the results.

Ricciardo spoke about at length last season as he neared the end of his McLaren stint with the driver saying he went “too deep” in analysing how he was driving and got “lost along the way”.

Daniel Ricciardo: I don’t want to get into that detail ever again

“I was driving very consciously, and it just wasn’t natural anymore and I was just one step behind,” he told the Australian Grand Prix’s In the Fast Lane podcast. “At some point, we would have got a little too deep and a little too lost.”

It’s a hole he intends to avoid now that he’s back on the grid with AlphaTauri.

“I don’t want to get into that detail ever again,” he told the media including

“I think even through year one at McLaren, at the summer break I learned we were probably going into too much. We needed to change the approach a little bit.

“It was all in everyone’s best interests trying to make it work but I felt like I’d come to the realisation that wasn’t working for me.

“We still probably did too much in hindsight, but maybe that works for another driver. It is what it is.” recommends

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P13 on his comeback at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ricciardo was 16th in Belgium where his race was undone by a qualifying infringement where the driver earned himself a track limit violation that meant he started P19.

Ricciardo admits this has been a learning period, not just for himself but also for his engineers.

“There were definitely things over last week and I worked on little bits of driving and kind of where the car could be on the limit in some areas of the track,” he said.

“So there were certainly things that the engineers were showing me and saying, ‘Okay, I think you can probably do this here and improve that there’.

“And so yeah, there was some learning to be had, but also they wanted to see how I drive the car and kind of go from there. So I was improving where I knew I could, but they would just kind of letting me drive it naturally and see where that ended up.”

Back with Red Bull’s junior team, Ricciardo has made it clear he hopes to use his AlphaTauri drive as an audition for Sergio Perez’s Red Bull seat.

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