McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo says he is at peace with the idea of never having the chance to win a Formula One championship should that be the way his career goes from this point.
Ricciardo, the winner of eight races including this season’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza, is considered one of F1’s most talented drivers but has not had the car to challenge for a car yet.
The Australian joined Red Bull in 2014 after the team had won four consecutive championships, only to see his breakout season coincide with the team being overtaken by Mercedes with the introduction of V6 turbo engines that year.
Subsequent moves to Renault and McLaren this year have seen Ricciardo locked in the midfield, although it is hoped next year’s aerodynamic rule change shakes up the current competitive order.
Speaking to F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast, Ricciardo said: “There was a time where I was a little bit bitter, like, ‘I should have had a title by now, this sucks, why don’t I, wrong place, wrong time’, or this or that.
“But maybe that’s the growth in me or the maturity where I don’t think that any more. I’m still here because I believe I can win a title and I want to win a title.
“But I’m at peace with whatever happens, as long as I go out and leave it all on the track, I’ll get fulfilment.”
Ricciardo added: “The goal is to be world champion, and I think that is why I will wake up every morning with the desire to do this. But I don’t want that to dictate my whole happiness.
“I’ve been doing this 10 years. I’m not world champion yet so there’s no guarantee it will happen.
“I just don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket and then be miserable for the rest of my life because I haven’t done it.
“Winning in Monza was probably all I needed to give me all the happiness in 2021. That also proved that you can get so much from not just the world title.”
Ricciardo and his F1 rivals are racing at the U.S. Grand Prix this weekend. The race will be broadcast live on ABC on Oct. 24 at 1.30PM.