Ricciardo blocking out negativity as he stays confident of turnaround

Daniel Ricciardo feels that he is on the verge of delivering stronger performances and results because he is feeling so good behind the wheel, despite a tough Australian Grand Prix.

The Australian arrived at his home race off the back of a frustrating start to the year, failing to score in either of the first two races and struggling in Jeddah with his car’s handling. RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda outqualified him comfortably in Saudi Arabia and again in Melbourne — where he went on to finish an impressive seventh — while a Q1 exit limited Ricciardo to 12th, but the 34-year-old insists he’s in a good place to produce better results.

“I came into this weekend really, honestly, deep down believing we were going to have a very, very good weekend,” Ricciardo said. “And in terms of the noise, people tell me, in the media, like ‘so and so said’ and it’s the first I’ve heard. It’s obviously no disrespect to you guys.


“I know that I’m on this little process or journey at the moment, and I just need to focus on myself. If I let any of the noise in, it’s going to kind of distract me from the path I’m on. I think it’s been really good, I haven’t let any of that maybe negative stuff creep in.

“I also understand that I didn’t expect to start the season like this. Budapest last year, I drove the car a day before, and outqualified Yuki and had a really strong race with no knowledge. Having a full pre-season and all that, and all the races last year, I honestly thought that this year, we would start a lot stronger.

“There is that, which I understand not only me but a few people are wondering why. I think the important thing is that I stay on course — it’s not that my head is filled with nonsense or anything. I honestly feel good, and just unfortunately the results haven’t made me feel awesome, but deep down behind the wheel, I do feel good and excited.

“I just want to keep racing. I’m sure I’ll find a bit more in myself, and I still believe maybe we’ll find a little something on the car.”

Ricciardo also feels that his form is likely to click at the start of a weekend and continue, rather than be the result of a long process of trying to find a bit more pace from this year’s RB.

“I hope so,” he said of a quicker turn of form. “I’m asking the team a lot of questions, and I think we will have some bits and pieces come onto the car in the next one, two races. I expect it to be a pretty quick turnaround, and before you know it, we’ll be doing great again… Nah, I kind of say that jokingly, but I do believe it. So yeah, we’ll hopefully turn it around.”

Story originally appeared on Racer