Ricciardo: 'The anger and the hurt shows I still care'

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Daniel Ricciardo welcomes "the anger and the hurt" of this season because it "shows I still care" about Formula 1.

The Australian has had a difficult start to 2021, as he struggles to fully adapt to his new car at McLaren. As a result, he has scored just 34 points with a best finish of P6, in comparison, teammate Lando Norris has two podiums and sits fourth in the Drivers' standings with 86 points.

Recently, it appeared Ricciardo was starting to show form after a better race in France and a strong start to the weekend in Austria, but then he dropped back, qualifying and finishing 13th at the Red Bull Ring as a temporary loss of power undid a strong start.

And the newly turned 32-year-old admitted that lack of consistency in his performance has been his problem this year.

"I guess I haven't had enough sessions this year when I've been fast from start to finish all weekend," he said via Formula1.com.

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"In qualifying, it's certainly hurting when I'm not in the top 10, and obviously, during my career, my quali record has been pretty good, so typically, Saturdays haven't been a struggle

"But yeah, trying to really maximise the car and get everything out of it, I'm still not there yet consistently so that puts you on the back foot and I'm relying on good first laps to put me back in position, which I've had but it would be nice to not create the work."

As a result of his ups and downs this season, it was suggested to Ricciardo that he hasn't had the same "level" emotion as in the past.

"I mean, there's a lot of truth in that," he admitted, when asked if the disappointments were "getting to him".

"I do struggle to not show what I'm feeling and that's just who I am, but I do love being here and, unless a session goes really bad, generally I'll be really bubbly and high, but when it doesn't go well, obviously I can't help but be frustrated and emotional.

"I am very passionate about it, obviously racing has been a big part of my life so I've worked very hard to try and have all this and want to achieve everything I can with it, so when it doesn't work, it affects me.

"But my strength in that is it only affects me for so long, and even if I go to bed on Sunday a little bit upset, by Monday morning it's like 'alright, eyes forward', so it's temporary," he added, "and I do like being passionate, I do like having the anger and the hurt because it shows I still care.

"The day that feeling goes is probably the day I'll say 'alright, see ya later'."