Daniel Ricciardo has signed a three-year contract with McLaren in order to work with the team and get on top of the championship table. In a recent interview, the Australian acknowledge Lewis Hamilton’s consistency and stated that some drivers on the grid believe they can beat the GOAT.
The Brit champion has won six consecutive championships with Mercedes. Many from the F1 community question whether or not Hamilton in a Mercedes is beatable. According to Ricciardo, Russell’s one-weekend stand with Mercedes last season shines a bright light on that debate.
George Russell replaced Hamilton for the Sakhir Grand Prix last weekend, impressed everyone with his driving skills and almost beat Valtteri Bottas.
He explained, “To answer it diplomatically, I think Lewis isn’t the only one that could win races in that car. That’s obviously my opinion and I think that George Russell, in a way, showed the possibility of that by pretty much beating Valtteri [Bottas] in his first race.”
“So you could argue that just maybe Lewis doesn’t have the strongest competition.” The Australian lauded Hamilton for being able to perform under the pressure of delivering a P1 finish every weekend.
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Daniel Ricciardo on possibilities of a gap year and retirement plans
The Australian is 31-years-old and has a contract with McLaren that will see him through till 33 years. We have seen many racing drivers take a gap from Formula 1 for a while, such as Michael Schumacher, and the 2021 season’s comeback sensation Fernando Alonso.
He explains that he won’t be taking a gap year but states, “when I do say I’m done, I think I’ll be done.” However, Daniel Ricciardo also explains his plans once he decides to retire from the Formula 1 grid.
“I mean, it might call me back to do something at some point… but I just see myself just going on a massive road trip and doing something really, still adventurous, but in a different way, you know, not on a schedule,” he shared.
The Australian driver is a proven race winner. Some would argue, Ricciardo has signed with McLaren at the right moment. The Woking outfit claimed a P3 finish last season and continues to develop on their performances.
Daniel Ricciardo will hope to become a championship contender once the technical regulations come into place next season. Do you think the Australian will stand on top of the championship before giving in to his gap year?