Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo says his maiden win at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix got him “too excited” about the thought of becoming a future world champion.
The McLaren driver, 32, whose highest championship finish was third in both 2014 and 2016, reflected on the first big win of his F1 career.
“I’d kind of convinced myself ‘oh I’ll be world champion next year, we’ll have a better car,’” he told The Post ahead of the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix.
“I thought, ‘if I can win this race, I’ll win so many more.’ My thoughts got ahead of me,” he continued.
“But I think my actions were ok: it’s not like I did stupid stuff and bought myself a yacht [or] started becoming arrogant. But in my mind I probably got too excited for what’s to come.”
The Australian athlete left Red Bull at the end of 2018, joining Renault for two seasons before moving to McLaren in 2021.
Despite winning seven more Grand Prixes and standing on 32 podiums, he “vividly” remembers his first time on the top step.
“I can still touch on all the feelings I had,” Ricciardo said of the 2014 race in Montreal, noting he felt relieved to have “confirmed his belief” in himself.
“Your first win, you kind of feel like you’re invincible. My expectation for what was going to happen next was probably too high in terms of thinking I’d win a lot more than I have,” he added.
Ricciardo has endured a difficult start to the season: struggling to adapt to the new car and regularly being out qualified by his younger teammate, Lando Norris.
Although he still believes he has what it takes to be a world champion, the Honey Badger revealed he’s focused on “separating racing to life” this season.
“[Having] a bad race is unfortunately too common in this sport, so I don’t want that to dictate the way I feel the week after,” he said.
“I’ve been exposed to this already last year,” he continued. “I removed myself from it last year and that then started to affect my friendships at times”.
He will start ninth on the grid in tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix.