Ricciardo admits frustration at 'equipment dependent' F1

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Daniel Ricciardo admits his main "dislike" in Formula 1 is how dependent a driver's performance is on his equipment.

The Australian has been a victim of bad timing during his career, having been promoted from Toro Rosso to join Red Bull just as the team's era of domination ended in 2014.

Then after five nearly years with only seven wins to show despite being considered one of the best on the grid, he made the move to Renault for a fresh start, but that meant having to accept a step back into the midfield for a year or two at least.

“It’s probably the one thing I dislike about my chosen profession,” he told Trevor Noah on The Daily Show on Monday.

“It’s not like tennis where you can only blame the racquet, there is a lot of equipment; it’s very equipment dependent.

“Your job is to try and put yourself in the best team to give you the best equipment. It’s like a technology battle with the manufacturers. It’s crazy.

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“To get on the grid and there are 20 drivers, that’s obviously an achievement in itself," Ricciardo acknowledged. "But then you obviously want to be the best and get yourself to the top.”

As the 30-year-old alluded to in that last comment, however, sometimes, amid the politics that are often involved in F1, some perspective is needed.

“I’m doing my dream job, and you have to be reminded sometimes," he continued.

"You get so competitive and sometimes so caught up in it that you do forget a little bit of perspective.

“I travel the world to drive cars in circles which is pretty awesome, though there’s some turns here and there," he smiled.

Ricciardo's love for the United States is well known and this past weekend he was in Miami for the SuperBowl which was coincidentally held at Hard Rock Stadium, the same venue F1 wants to build a racetrack around for 2021.

And he alluded to how the growth of F1 has meant he is more recognised when Stateside nowadays, with much of that thanks to the Drive to Survive documentary on Netflix, with the second series coming out later this month.

“I definitely feel F1 is becoming much more of a thing here in the States. Drive to Survive put it on the map,” Ricciardo said.

“I spend a bit of time in the States, and up until a year ago, not really anyone would say ‘Hi’ to me – not in a bad way, but they wouldn’t recognise me for being an F1 driver.

“And now it’s all: ‘We saw you on Netflix, it was great, Drive to Survive.’ We wear helmets, so not many people can see our faces a lot of the time.

“Putting a face to a name, that helped.”