Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that the “primal” rage that fuelled him to victory in Italy was triggered by a moment of frustration during the race.
In the days preceding up to the Italian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo claimed he felt “positive anger,” which he thinks had a significant part in his unexpected win.
After a rocky start to his first year at McLaren, Ricciardo delivered a stunning performance to end the team’s nine-year wait for victory.
It was Ricciardo’s first victory since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, and McLaren’s first since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. Despite high hopes before the season, he struggled to find form at McLaren and had been outperformed by rookie colleague Lando Norris until the Monza race.
Ricciardo expressed his displeasure with himself after qualifying sixth, behind Norris, at Monza.
Ricciardo swiftly passed Norris and Lewis Hamilton en way to third place in the sprint race, which put him second on the grid for Sunday’s main event after Valtteri Bottas served a grid penalty.
Ricciardo never looked back after that, beating Verstappen to Turn 1 and dominating the race’s pace from there. McLaren’s first one-two result since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix went to Norris.
Ricciardo claimed he was able to reach an unique level of performance when speaking at McLaren’s Woking headquarters this week during the team’s celebratory event.
“Hopefully, not many people can connect to it! It has a primitive vibe about it “Ricciardo said.
“But that’s also why I do it.” That’s the other side of the coin. That’s not something I say simply to seem cool in front of the camera. To me, it’s just the opposite side.
“When it comes out, it’s very strong,” she says. “I believe that’s where, in 2014, call it the breakthrough year, I got to express those feelings on track and that’s why it became so powerful for me.”
Daniel Ricciardo wins in Monza for the first race, and also for McLaren. courtesy of Getty Images
After qualifying, Ricciardo said he was in a bad mood because he knew a victory was on the line.
“The vehicle felt very decent from the first practice, so I was thinking, ‘Alright, we might be on here,’” Ricciardo said. “That gave me greater confidence.” After qualifying on Friday, I was very exhausted.
“Something inside of me said, ‘I simply don’t want to be here anymore,’ in the sense that I want to win.” I’d want to play the role of the man. Being so near… it was more than enough to keep me going.
“‘It’s a good session, you should be pleased,’ the team remarked. I realize that it was a nice session for this year, but simply… I’m not sure. That’s when the competitive in me comes out in full force. I’m at a loss for words. It’s like a burning sensation within me that says, “Nah, this isn’t good enough.” For the remainder of the weekend, I’ll be wearing my blinkers.
“It’s simple to say now that I’ve won, but there was something that overtook me. Especially after Friday night. I was, after all, a man on a mission.”
Ricciardo is optimistic that now that he has regained his form, he will not need to dig as deep in the future to achieve that level of performance.
“I don’t want to imply that I won’t be able to return to that location; of course I will.” I simply lugged it around all weekend. I didn’t wake up on Sunday thinking, “I’m going to win today,” but there was something there for three or four days.
“I like that sensation. It gives you a sense of being alive.
“It’s similar to a good rage in that it gives you a lot of energy. I don’t believe I’ll need to tap into that area all the time after the weekend to get it out of me. That weekend gave me a lot of confidence.”
Ricciardo placed his trophy next to Ayrton Senna’s from the 1993 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, according to McLaren’s footage of the celebrations.
Ricciardo attended the ceremony with his father and described it as a strange experience to be able to put his own trophy on the podium.
The moment @DanielRicciardo added his name to McLaren’s trophy cabinet at the MTC.
He also chose a location next to a very important prize. /Umk6gu1I8H/pic.twitter.com/Umk6gu1I8H/pic.twitter.com/Umk6gu1I
September 16, 2023 — McLaren (@McLarenF1)