McLaren Racing CEO Brown was quoted earlier this week saying that Ricciardo’s time with the team had not lived up to expectations thus far, with the Aussie seeing Lando Norris regularly beat him both in 2021 and so far in 2022.
Certainly, it’s been tough for Ricciardo whose talent as a driver cannot be doubted given he is a multiple race-winner and one of the great overtakers, and he was asked about the comments in the press conference in Monaco ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.
In typical Ricciardo style, though, he took Brown’s comments on the chin and actually agreed with what his boss had to say, admitting that it had not gone how he would have wanted and that he and the team are still working hard to try and crack it:
“It’s not false. I don’t take them personally, my skin is thick and it hasn’t [gone well.]
“No one’s going to be harder on me than myself, I don’t want to be racing around 12th place.
“I still believe I can be at the front and belong at the front. It’s been testing at times trying to maximise myself in this car but we’re working together hard.”
Ricciardo will be the first to admit that things haven’t gone to plan so far but he showed at the Italian Grand Prix last year that when there is a chance to win a race he can still deliver the goods, as he brought home a McLaren one-two.
His many fans will be eager to see his performances pick up, then, but there at least isn’t any questions over him leaving the team early, with him confirming he’s staying to the end of 2023.
As quoted by Autosport, he said:
“Yes, it’s clear.
“I’ve got a contract until the end of 2023.”