Ricciardo reveals early scares during junior years – “I wondered what I was doing there”

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo revealed the early scares he went through during his junior years in F1, saying he was quite overwhelmed by what he saw.

Ricciardo today is one of the best and fastest drivers on the grid. However, back when he first debuted, things never seemed as clear.

Having made his debut for Hispania Racing team at the 2011 British Grand Prix, he showed promise that allowed him to climb up the ranks. However, he was surrounded by some of the best in the business, with world champions Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.  

As a result, Ricciardo revealed the early scares he went through during his junior years in F1, saying he took one look at the competition and felt he didn’t belong.

“It was difficult to come from Australia and enter F1, I’m sure there are many parts of the world rather disconnected from the Circus, and Perth is certainly one of them,” he said on the Gypsy Tales podcast.

Daniel Ricciardo interviewed on Sky Sports. Austin October 2021.
Ricciardo (pictured) had an eventful first year. Source: planetf1.com

“But then, a few years later, I was there on the grid with Schumacher and the drivers I idolised as a child, and I was in awe. At that point, I wondered what I was doing there.”

Prodigy times

“As a boy, I was obviously good – but I was not dominating, and there were no real signs that I was I would have done it,” the Australian continued.  

“At first, then, I was definitely a little overwhelmed. It was a learning process to try to get comfortable and believe in myself more.

“Even if it was Schumacher, Alonso or Raikkonen, however, each of them had to go through the same path, you try to make everyone around you more human so as not to make them seem so alien.”

Read more: Ricciardo reveals desire to retire at McLaren – “I want to be here until the end of my career”

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