Ricciardo ‘a little bit immune’ to speculation over F1 future
By Mat Coch
Saturday 11th June, 2022 - 6:00am
Daniel Ricciardo has said he is largely immune to the ongoing speculation surrounding his Formula 1 future.
The Australian has come under increasing pressure from the media in recent weeks, while internally the rhetoric has also shifted.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown made critical remarks of Ricciardo in the lead up to last month’s Monaco Grand Prix, fuelling speculation over the 32-year-old’s future with the team.
In the two weeks since that event, chatter has only increased, with Ricciardo again fielding a barrage of questions over his future and current plight on Friday in Azerbaijan.
“I wasn’t surprised,” the eight-time race winner said when asked about Brown’s comments.
“I don’t know, maybe I kind of say I’ve become a little bit immune, if that’s the word, to media and that.
“I think being in the sport for so long. I feel like we do more and more [media] as we go through the years.
“So I don’t really take it probably for its full, I guess, value or worth all the time.
“I know that some things are taken out of context, so I’m not really one to go into it and read too much and try to understand it.
“At the end of the day, I know the facts between us, what I have with the team.
“So simply, I don’t get caught up. So no, I’m not surprised with anything these days.”
He also moved to reaffirm his commitment to the team, and the fact he has a contract in place for 2023.
“We’ve spoken, we’ve had a catch up,” Ricciardo said of his interaction with Brown since his comments prior to Monaco.
“I think nothing needed to be kind of elaborated on.
“I think sometimes we, I’m guilty of it as well, getting caught up in the media and not always kind of making total sense of things.
“The [situation] is clear for us moving forward,” he added.
“My contract’s clear with the team, to the end of next year, I’m fully committed.
“I’ve have certainly voiced that, and it’s obviously now just on track, to show it and show these moments and these races that I know I’m capable of.
“And I do truly believe that the team, I have the full support of the team and we want to do it together.”
While the speculation surrounding his future is less than positive, Ricciardo has opted to see the positives in the situation.
“I guess, at the end of the day, people care,” he said.
“I think it’s why I’m probably being talked about finishing 13th is because people think I can, know, that I can be better.
“And I guess it speaks to my results in the past, and I guess me as a driver, that people believe in me.
“I also don’t expect an amazing narrative when I cross the line in 13th.
“But, yeah, I like pressure, it’s a good platform to perform on and it’s also why I signed up to this.
“I love it. I think it makes success after struggle always tastes a little sweeter.”
The Aussie also shot down suggestions that he’s grown complacent of his position, comfortable in the knowledge that he has a contract with McLaren for the 2023 sseason.
“Absolutely not,” he declared.
“There is a level of signing early in a season, you know, it gives you for sure some comfort, but that comfort shouldn’t be – I’m going to use a word here that I don’t think is – misconstrued as with complacency.
“It’s as simple as this; my results, I want them to be better, I know they can be better, and I want to enjoy that success with the team.
“I’m not going to just sit back in 13th and be complacent or happy about that.”
Ricciardo finished 13th in Monaco, his weekend compromised by a crash in Free Practice 2, which the team has since taken ownership for.
Since then, he’s spent time at the McLaren factory, working with engineers and spending time in the simulator.
“I think the sim is one part of kind of the the learning, the development, but also then just going through like analysis of the race and all other bits and pieces which will do with the engineers and the team and also the factory,” Ricciardo said when asked by Speedcafe.com about his time in the simulator.
“Not everyone travels to the races, so it’s a chance to also speak to some factory-based personnel and just kind of go through a lot of it.
“I definitely feel in a good place, you know, coming into this weekend and I think that’s one thing where, like a weekend like Monaco, it’s not the result I want, but once we’ve done the homework, then I put it behind me and look forward.”