Daniel Ricciardo says his 2014 success “was a surprise” to him but that now that he has tasted victory he “won’t settle for anything less
Daniel Ricciardo says his 2014 success “was a surprise” to him but that now that he has tasted victory he “won’t settle for anything less” in 2015.
Speaking in Qatar at the FIA’s annual Prize-Giving event, where he was on hand to pick up his trophy for third-place in the F1 Drivers’ standings, the Red Bull Racing driver was asked if he had been surprised by his competitiveness in his first year with Red Bull Racing.
“A little bit,” he said. “Deep down I always believed I could do it. I believed that if I had the equipment and the opportunity I could do it, but looking back at it and how dominant Mercedes were and for me to be only driver to break that dominance that surprised me a little bit.
“It was frustrating a lot of the time seeing Nico and Lewis ahead but that was it for me this year.” He added. “You always try to be as fast as you can but with their dominance it was always just about making sure I was the next guy in case they made a mistake. I hope they’re less dominant next year and that it creates a few more opportunities for me.”
And Ricciardo is determined to return to the top step as soon as possible in 2015.
“This year was a big step forward in my career, a big step in the direction I wanted it to go in,” he said. “Obviously the Mercedes were dominant, but I was able to score the only other three wins of the season, so that was a big year for me.
“Once you make one step you want to keep making more. I won’t settle for anything else now. I’m sure Mercedes are going to very quick again next year, but the gap’s there for us to close, so hopefully we can do that and looking forward to the future now.”
Elaborating on the steps forward he made this year, Ricciardo said that a large part of his competitiveness stemmed simply from enjoying his racing ands from having a car with which he could challenge for podiums.
“I had the most fun I’ve ever had in a race car and the results just came,” he said. “[The competitiveness] grew a lot. My love for the sport grew; my love for competition. This year I think knowing you’ve got a car that can fight for a win or a podium and just race at the front with all these world champions that I looked up to when I was young. That just gives you so much more motivation.
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