Daniel Ricciardo has always had the world championship title in mind as his big goal and according to McLaren, this dream should be conceivable from 2024.
In the background, the team is already working step by step on plans for the future. A new wind tunnel should bring them back into the race for the world championship crown, says Zak Brown.
“What I will say is we will have caught up by 2024 with all of our infrastructure, most specifically the wind tunnel. I think we’ll have no excuses come the 2024 season.”
The Australian’s contract ends after the 2023 season, but Ricciardo already wants to look further into the future. McLaren is already fighting for third place amongst the constructors this year, and with the rule changes next year, it will be interesting to see where the British team will find itself. However, they are opting for the gradual route.
“I understand that the team is on the right track, but there are still some hurdles to overcome before we can fight for the world title in about two years’ time. The new wind tunnel could be the last piece in that puzzle. I’m trying to continue working here with McLaren to put myself in a good position for 2024,” Ricciardo said.
“Still, it’s crazy that a man who won races for Red Bull Racing years ago is now looking so far ahead in time. Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely try. I would prefer to be successful today. However, my experience has taught me that it is a process. With age, that maturity and calmness will come naturally,” he added.
He says his mentality has had to change again now that he is back in a car that can compete for victory for the first time in 3 years.
“In a way, you have to change a little bit. I don’t know its mindset, goals, target, but you have to create different victories in your mind where a victory might not always be the first place.
“Going back to last year a victory at Renault was getting that car onto the podium. I knew if I was able to do that would give me that satisfaction.
“So ultimately, yes, nothing beats winning and that’s what I signed up for when I was young trying to do all this.
“I know you’re only going to win if you’re in that top team or maybe those four cars a year. If you’re not, you’ve got to set other targets for yourself and keep your stock high, keep your motivation high.
“It’s probably the only sport in the world that has such a low win percentage. Like… I’ll refer to a team sport – 50 percent of the time you’re winning. Where F1, I dunno, my win ratio is probably like two percent or something. It’s crazy. You find other ways to enjoy it I guess.”