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One of the larger talking points that has taken the Formula One fanbase by storm is the status of Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren.
Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren CEO Zak Brown told Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday, in part, “Daniel is just not comfortable yet with the car, we’re trying everything we can. Again it was a disappointing weekend. Short of [Ricciardo's win at] Monza and a few races, it’s generally not kind of met his or our expectations, as far as what we were expecting.” And Ricciardo agreed.
“Well, it’s not false. It’s pretty true. It’s something that … well, firstly, comments like that I don’t take personally. My skin is tanned, beautiful, and also thick,” the Australian said, in part, during the drivers’ press conference before Monaco.
The Australian finished 13th that weekend compared to teammate Lando Norris, who secured points in P6. There’s a 37-point difference between the two in the drivers standings.
Ricciardo said ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he and Brown have spoken and “I think nothing needed to be elaborated on, sometimes I’m guilty of it was well, getting caught up in the media and not always making total sense of things and I just like to talk.
“The clarity is clear for us moving forward. My contract’s clear with the team, until the end of next year I’m fully committed. I’ve certainly voiced that. And it’s obviously now just on track to show it and show these moments and these races that I know I’m capable of. And I do truly believe that I have the full support of the team and we want to do it together.”
The Australian has only finished in the top 10 once over the span of seven races. Comparatively, his McLaren teammate has broken into the top 10 five times, including snagging a podium finish in Imola.
“I think stripping it back to the core, I still know what I can do, I still believe I have it and it’s not, you know, it’s not like a place of like low confidence or low self-esteem or anything, where I’m like, ‘I don’t think it’s possible,’” Ricciardo said. “I really do. I know I can still do it. I think in this sport everything operates at such a high level and if something’s a little bit out of tune, then it can have a bit of a carry-on effect. So it’s really just for me to get back into that place where I’m in tune, fully in tune, with the car and then it’ll come.”
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