Daniel Ricciardo claims to have taken McLaren boss Zak Brown’s criticism as an indirect compliment. Brown’s comments, according to Ricciardo, came from the former’s belief in his abilities, and hence were complimentary.
Speaking to RacingNews365, the Australian said:
“I take [the comments] as a roundabout way of a compliment because he also believes I can be doing better.”
He further said:
“I am my biggest critic, and I don’t take that stuff to heart. A bit of pressure is good. It is not something I take personally or negatively.”
Earlier this month, Zak Brown publicly expressed his frustration at Ricciardo’s continued lack of competitiveness. Conceding that the team were disappointed with Ricciardo’s performances thus far, especially given the high expectations the team had placed on him upon his arrival from Renault, Brown had hoped for a better season for the Australian going forward.
Despite his comments, Brown has staunchly stood behind Ricciardo, claiming that McLaren is fully committed to the Australian until the end of his current contract with the team.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo felt that Brown’s comments were fair and felt that they arose from a “good place.” He added:
“I know the team cares about me and therefore there is an expectation as to where I can perform and where my ability lies, so with Zak’s comment, I am well aware of how I am doing.”
Daniel Ricciardo claims the pressure to perform makes him “feel alive”
The McLaren driver said that he did not mind the constant pressure to perform at McLaren despite wanting to be left alone at times. Rather than being bothered by the unwanted attention, Ricciardo said that it makes him “feel alive”. He said:
“I’ve never shied away from [pressure]. Of course, at times, there’s a lot and it’s coming from all different angles and stuff. And sometimes you do want to just be like, ‘Ah, I just want to chill out for a little bit and shut out a bit of the noise.’”
“But part of me probably wouldn’t have it any other way because it makes you feel alive and makes you feel like there’s something worth fighting for.”
Since his arrival at McLaren at the start of last season, Daniel Ricciardo’s every move has been under constant scrutiny. Despite the ever-increasing criticism, the Australian hasn’t lost his ever-present smile and has refused to let himself be beaten down by critics.