'I’ve not forgotten how to drive' – Daniel Ricciardo slams claims McLaren will sack him after tough F1 season start | The Sun

FORMULA 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has slammed suggestions he could be sacked by McLaren following a poor start to the season.

The 32-year-old has endured a tough start to the new season, collecting just 11 points from the opening seven race weekends of the season.

This poor form has led to speculation of a falling out in the McLaren garage and the potential departure of Ricciardo.

Addressing his erratic form so far this season and the rumours around his future, Ricciardo told Crash: "It kind of ebbs and flows where sometimes I’ll get down on myself.

"But then other times, I’m fired up and motivated to prove a lot of people wrong and prove myself right.

"More times than not, I’ll kind of chuckle at the doubt. Because even last year, for sure, there were times where I was trying to figure it out.


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“But already in April and May [last year] there were articles like ‘he’s lost it’ but six months earlier in 2020 I was regarded as one of the standout drivers of that season.

“The reality is I’ve not forgotten how to drive in six months, I haven’t lost my competitive edge, it’s just kind of a moment in time that I knew I could come out of." 

If you go back just nine months, Ricciardo sealed McLaren's first race victory in nine years with a thrilling victory at Monza, a race which also saw his teammate Lando Norris finish a close second.

However, his exploits since the new era of F1 came into being has seen him produce the worst start to a season from a McLaren driver since Stoffel Vandoorne in 2018.

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Ricciardo has finished in the top 10 just once this season on Sunday races, but he will be hoping he can rectify this at this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku – a race he previously won while with Red Bull in 2017.

'The Honey Badger' joined the British constructor in 2021 after a two-year stint at Renault, now Alpine.

Since his debut in 2011, Ricciardo has won eight races, scored 32 podiums, and collected almost 1300 points in F1.

Former teammate and current F1 World Champion Max Verstappen currently leads the World Drivers Championship by nine points from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

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Monaco race winner Sergio Perez sits just 15 off of the top spot in third. There is then a sizeable gap between him and fourth placed driver George Russell and fifth placed Carlos Sainz who have a point between them.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton sits down in sixth, following a difficult start to the season which has seen him accrue 34 points fewer than Mercedes teammate Russell.

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