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What can be said about Daniel Ricciardo’s season that hasn’t already been said?
To put it bluntly, Ricciardo was dreadful all year, and for a majority of his two-year stint at McLaren.
He showed glimpses of his old self – his race win at Imola in 2021 and this season’s Mexican Grand Prix spring to mind – but by and large he was destroyed by teammate Lando Norris in the same car, who signed a $94 million contract extension prior to this season.
Ricciardo’s final race with McLaren – which could well turn out to be his final in F1 – was one of his better showings for the season. He qualified 10th, but started 13th thanks to his grid penalty imposed for his crash with Kevin Magnussen in Brazil.
He rose up the field and eventually finished 9th, and fittingly enjoying a late tussle with Sebastian Vettel.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Ricciardo said his difficult McLaren tenure had given him a new “perspective” on his involvement and role in the sport.
“It is so easy to get caught up in competition,” he said.
“We devote so much time to it and when it is not going well you can so easily get angry, frustrated and bitter. Get so many negative emotions towards something you truly love.”
“Perspective allowed me to maintain happiness and appreciation. You have your days but it’s a privilege to do what we love.
“It is such a fun sport – the surroundings, the travel, all the people we meet. Whatever you do in life, gratitude helps you move forward a lot.”
Ricciardo appears set to re-join Red Bull in a test and reserve capacity for 2023.