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Is Ricciardo at his best ?: «2020 is the most satisfactory since 2016»

After a difficult first season with Renault, Daniel Ricciardo already has two podium finishes this year and is fighting for fourth place in the drivers’ championship. Although the Australian will be leaving for McLaren in 2021, he claims to be enjoying himself a lot today.

Daniel Ricciardo spent two seasons at Toro Rosso and five more at Red Bull Racing, but not all were satisfactory. Especially in 2018, that of his farewell, the Australian driver had to deal with an untouchable Max Verstappen and many reliability problems in the car.

This, together with his departure for Renault, caused Ricciardo to lose his smile and stop enjoying the competition. Even if you win every race, it can be difficult for you sometimes. It depends on how high you set the bar. I think 2018 at Red Bull was emotionally the hardest, because at the beginning of the year it seemed like maybe I would be competing for the world championship, and then in the middle of the year I realized I wanted to turn the page.. And towards the end of the year it was abandonment after abandonment, ”recalls the Australian.

With Renault, a new beginning

And, although his move to Renault implied the certainty of falling back on the grid, Daniel Ricciardo regained motivation and began to enjoy again of the races, despite the fact that the results were not good.

“Last year was still fun,” says Ricciardo. “Even though we didn’t really get the results we were looking for, it was fun trying to grow with a new team. This year has definitely been more fun, because that work has paid off very well.

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Not surprisingly, Ricciardo has two podiums and 96 points this year, competing with Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc for fourth position in a championship that began four months later than planned. All of this is making Daniel really enjoy racing. I’ll have to look back when the season is over, but I think so far, yes. I mean, my enjoyment is really high at the moment, I love racing and I think that was also increased by blocking and having more free time as the season was delayed ».

Isolation from the pandemic allowed Ricciardo to recharge his batteries and rest much more than usual, which has now made the desire to compete much greater. “That made my desire to go back obviously much stronger. And yes, it was great. 2016 was probably a really good year with Red Bull, so this is probably the best, or most satisfying, since then. “, concludes the still Renault driver.