Daniel Ricciardo has revealed the meaning of the radio message that he made after the Italian Grand Prix victory.

The 2021 Formula 1 season was one of the toughest in Ricciardo’s career. It took him a lot of time to get used to the new car at McLaren and he was regularly outperformed by his teammate Lando Norris at the start of the season.

However, the Australian went through all the challenges and won the Italian GP, giving McLaren their first win since 2012. After the race, Ricciardo said that he “never left.” Though this phrase was interpreted as a message to the naysayers, Ricciardo admitted that it was a message to himself in the first place.

“I appreciate that message was going to be directed at I guess people who did maybe think that I’d checked out, and that I was on my way out or a little bit washed up or whatever,” he said.

“But still, first and foremost, that message was for me because there were times where I did lose a little bit of faith and I did second guess myself like, why am I struggling so much? Do I have now a little bit of fear that I’m not pushing the car as much?

“I knew I didn’t, but still when things aren’t going well, some of these questions pop up. So the ‘I never left’ was also for me to be like, I can still do it, I still belong here. And anyone that forgot, then forget no more.”

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