Daniel Ricciardo has revealed a personal chat with Michael Schumacher in his second season in F1 was one among his formative reminiscences as an F1 driver.
Schumacher is among the biggest drivers in F1 historical past, sitting side-by-side with Lewis Hamilton on a document seven world championships.
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However since his snowboarding accident, the German motorsport legend has taken on an nearly legendary high quality within the sport, much more so than when he was racing.
Schumacher was a fierce competitor, even famously enjoying thoughts video games with teammates, together with locking former world champion Nico Rosberg out of a bathroom minutes earlier than qualifying.
Ricciardo has a very good reminiscence with Schumacher nonetheless, revealing some personal phrases of encouragement that helped him settle into his Method One profession.
Talking not too long ago to Speedcafe, Ricciardo revealed a tenth positioned end at Suzuka in 2012 was one of many favorite drives of his profession.
On the time, it was his fourth factors end in F1 nevertheless it was the way it occurred that was significant for Ricciardo, holding off Schumacher for the final 17 laps to hold onto a factors end.
“I defended Schumacher within the final a part of the race, and I gained the final level in tenth,” Ricciardo stated.
“That was simply extra like … sure, I used to be nonetheless intimidated by him at the moment; clearly I used to be like, he’s God.
“When he caught me, if there was stay betting, I wouldn’t have wager on myself that I used to be going to maintain him behind for the subsequent 10 laps of no matter.
“The truth that I did that, and the extent of consolation I felt defending him, I sort of stunned myself with my race craft.”
In 2012, Schumacher was within the closing 12 months of his profession driving for Mercedes. He claimed just one extra podium and completed thirteenth within the championship.
In distinction, it was Ricciardo’s first of two seasons at Toro Rosso (now often known as AlphaTauri) earlier than he was promoted to the highest staff at Crimson Bull and simply his second in F1.
However whereas Schumacher was on the finish of his unimaginable profession, some phrases of respect for the younger Aussie from the seven-time champion modified his F1 trajectory.
“From that, I grew loads of confidence,” Ricciardo continued.
“That was a vital race for me which isn’t talked about as a result of I completed tenth.
“However personally, for me, it was actually huge.
“It was adopted up by him congratulating me (at) the next race on the drivers’ parade, I keep in mind he got here up and stated ‘good job final week defending’.
“That, for me, getting a little bit of affirmation from somebody like that, at that age, and that time in my profession was enormous.
“Possibly he didn’t realise on the time what he was doing, however he boosted my confidence lots.”
From there, Ricciardo had two third-place championship finishes in 5 seasons at Crimson Bull and claimed seven race wins and 30 podiums as he constructed a repute for his late braking and glorious defence.
Nevertheless, his transfer to Renault after which McLaren previously few seasons solely added one win and two podiums to his profession tally and has left his profession at a crossroads.
Subsequent season he’s set to be the reserve driver for Crimson Bull, following his worst season in F1 since 2013.
Whereas the door isn’t fully closed for Ricciardo, he was accused of getting “cashed in” in his exit from Crimson Bull in 2018.
McLaren boss Zak Brown didn’t shut the door on Ricciardo both, having stated on McLaren’s YouTube: “If the celebrities align, I’d like to go racing with him once more.”
However he additionally admitted Ricciardo’s lack of success in papaya will proceed to be a “nice thriller”.
“We don’t know,” Brown responded when requested by Speedcafe why Ricciardo had not labored out. “We’ve actually analysed it. We gave it every little thing we’ve obtained, Daniel gave it every little thing he’s obtained and our relationship with Daniel was nice.
“It was clearly disappointing for each of us as to the end result however I believe it’s a little bit of an important thriller as to why [it happened]. I don’t assume Daniel is aware of, we don’t know, we tried every little thing. Possibly we labored too onerous.
“I believe in the end that’s why we each determined to make a change as a result of we had tried every little thing and we actually didn’t know why it wasn’t clicking.
“So hopefully a change of surroundings for him [will mean] he’ll get his magic again as a result of for certain he’s a magical man. You noticed in Monza what he’s able to, and he’s achieved that seven different instances. However we wanted to make a change as a result of we couldn’t determine what had gone flawed.”