Ricciardo 'still loves' F1, would win in 'a winning car'

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Daniel Ricciardo insists he "still loves" Formula 1 and would win if given "a winning car".

The Australian's future has been thrown up in the air in recent days after Oscar Piastri sensationally rejected signing a contract at Alpine for 2023, despite being announced by the Enstone-based team.

That's because the reigning Formula 2 champion is understood to have an agreement to join McLaren next season, taking Ricciardo's seat.

Piastri Ricciardo

However, the complicated part is only Ricciardo is thought to have a say on whether he sees out the final year of his contract in 2023.

And so far, there has been little sign, despite a difficult time at McLaren, that the 'Honey Badger' is ready to give up his place.

“This sport, it’s one of those ones where you’re as good as your last race,” Ricciardo said via Motorsport Week.

“In a way, unless you’re winning, there’s always something to prove, whether it’s to fans, supporters or just yourself. I think most importantly it’s first and foremost to myself.

Also Read:

“That’s why I keep doing it because I still believe I can do it and do it at the highest level. So, always trying to prove that for me," he added. 

“You can absolutely still find happiness. You kind of have to understand that you’re not going to win every weekend but you can still set yourself other targets and other ways to certainly find happiness and fulfilment. 

“There’s no high like winning, but there are certainly still ways you can do that. So I’m still going through it and I am enjoying it. 

“Of course, it can be an emotional sport as well and emotions around higher times and for sure frustration and things like that. But I still love it more than anything.”

Ricciardo's poor results mean his stock has plummeted since joining McLaren, despite claiming victory last year at Monza.

2021ItalianGrandPrixSundayGP2114 142736 1ST4668

But he is insistent that the driver which rose to such prevalence at Red Bull between 2014-18 exists.

“Give me a winning car, and I’ll win,” he told Sky Sports. “I don’t feel I’ve ever left a win on the table, but that’s the challenge that lies ahead of us, with myself and with the team at McLaren.

“It’s like, ‘let’s figure this out, I’m wanting to take on this challenge with you. Let’s figure it out because you’ve given me this and I will give you this’.

“Yeah, that’s the confidence I have in myself and that’s ultimately why I still wake up wanting to do it.”