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Ricciardo: Deep down, I still know what I’m capable of

Ricciardo: Deep down, I still know what I’m capable of

Ricciardo: Deep down, I still know what I’m capable of
Daniel Ricciardo is not letting the speculation surrounding his future within Formula 1 with McLaren get into his head, claiming he knows what he’s capable of.

Daniel Ricciardo has struggled from day one at McLaren, never showing the kind of driver he was at Red Bull, and his second season with the team isn’t going any better, as he continues to struggle, beaten in every aspect by his teammate Lando Norris.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently said that Ricciardo hasn’t met the team’s expectations, hinting at discussions that may see the Australian leave Woking even before his contract’s expiry in 2023.

However, the Honey Badger is trying to channel all the criticism and pressure in a positive way which motivates him to emerge from his slump.

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“Part of me loves it,” he told F1’s official website regarding his situation. “That’s the truth, because one thing I love about this sport… it’s probably trying to get to the top of something. You’re always going to be under the spotlight and there’s always going to be that attention, that pressure.

“And when you can execute under those circumstances, it’s one of the most powerful and rewarding feelings,” Ricciardo insisted. “So I know that there is obviously chatter and let’s say certainly some noise at the moment.

“But for me, it’s like a good reason to… push back and just to remind people, but first and foremost to remind myself, that I can still do it.

Ricciardo admits he hasn’t done anything spectacular this season

“I have no doubts,” the McLaren driver went on. “So yes, it’s fun and I have no issue with people talking because I haven’t really done anything spectacular this year, so I know that it comes with the territory.

“But deep down, I still know what I’m capable of and I look forward to showing this – hopefully sooner rather than later,” a defiant Ricciardo added.

Ricciardo was speaking ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a race he won in 2017, and the 32-year-old is not ruling out a strong result this Sunday.

“It’s possible,” he said. “I think as well because this race of course, qualifying is always important and… I think we have potential to do [well].

“But it’s also a street track unlike many that you can really overtake on, and if you’ve got the race pace on Sunday then you can really do something good. There’s a lot more, I’d say, opportunities here, so that alone [makes me optimistic].

“But I think we’ll have – well I say I think, it’s so hard to know this year – but I believe we’ll have certainly a decent car,” the eight-time F1 race winner concluded.