Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has spoken openly about the toll his spell at McLaren has taken on his mental and physical health. He revealed that he “didn’t eat much” and felt on the verge of depression.
Ricciardo endured a challenging two-year tenure at McLaren, eventually leading to his replacement by compatriot Oscar Piastri and an early contract termination.
This year Ricciardo has rekindled his passion for racing as Red Bull’s reserve driver, expressing hopes of being back on the grid in 2024.
He currently supports Red Bull’s leading drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, who hold the top two positions in the F1 driver standings.
Ricciardo’s time at McLaren was marked by problems with an underperforming car, resulting in his standings dropping – he finished eighth in 2021 and eleventh in 2022.
Ricciardo has admitted he suffered from borderline depression during his time at McLaren, which finally ended last year
Ricciardo’s divorce from McLaren paved the way for compatriot Oscar Piastri to earn his first full-time position in F1
Although Ricciardo is not driving in F1 this year, he is still deeply involved in his role as reserve driver and ambassador for Red Bull
His victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix was a rare highlight amid ongoing engine problems and inconsistencies.
The 33-year-old admitted that he felt mentally drained at the end of last season and needed a break, further highlighting the impact of his struggles at McLaren on his overall well-being.
“I don’t want to go too far and say, ‘Yeah, I was depressed’ or whatever, but I certainly didn’t always eat that much,” Ricciardo shared. RaceFans.net.
“I guess I just wasn’t feeling well. I honestly just wasn’t like my happy self, not my normal self.
“I also think there was so much going on last year, I could feel like I had this kind of nervous energy in me. I wasn’t that hungry. I was just a little scattered. So yeah, there was definitely some of that. So I was a little thin.’
This year Ricciardo has a lucrative deal with Red Bull, attending about eight races of his choice and earning more than $20 million without driving for McLaren.
“I get tired of a break where I’m sure to feel refreshed and happy again,” he said.
“But it also reminds me a little bit of how cool this environment was and what it’s like to be in a place where I think hopefully I can get back on stage.”
Ricciardo smiles back at his position as reserve driver at Red Bull and is now selling his McLaren 720S Spider as a sign that he is over the problems
Ricciardo finds his mojo again at Red Bull and hopes to return to the F1 grid in 2024 after his messy split with McLaren
Now that Ricciardo is moving away from his McLaren days, he has put his McLaren 720S Spider up for sale.
Priced at an impressive A$413,000, the purple convertible has 7,000 miles on the clock and can reach 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) in just 2.8 seconds.
The vehicle is for sale through McLaren New Forest and is listed on AutoTrader.
“McLaren New Forest are delighted to offer this stunning 720S spider, finished in MSO Lantana purple, which was used by Daniel Ricciardo during the 2022 F1 season,” reads the description.
“The long list of features includes the Performance Plus Package, Convenience Package, Exterior Carbon Fiber Upgrade Package 1, Interior Carbon Fiber Package 3, Power and Heated Seats with Memory Function, 360 Park Assist and much more.”
It’s part of Ricciardo’s recovery from those bad times at McLaren and the Aussie driver said he was confident he could return in 2024 with his mojo intact.
“Maybe it wasn’t the best version of myself, but I probably wasn’t the best version of myself either,” he said.
“So I’m glad that chapter is done, and now I’m just looking ahead.”
“I want to go back next year.
‘I do want to participate. I feel more refreshed and obviously I’ve had a rough two years. So I’m fine.’