"Be a sponge" - Daniel Ricciardo has simple advice for his McLaren replacement

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews
Daniel Ricciardo talks in a press conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 17, 2022, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo has words of advice for his McLaren replacement Oscar Piastri. The Australian driver thinks his fellow compatriot should try and absorb as much as he can with the Woking-based team, acting like a 'sponge'.

Speaking on the Beyond the Grid podcast, Ricciardo advised his compatriot Piastri on being with McLaren, saying:

"I think just go out and drive. I know that sounds like a really lazy response, but it's just... go out and drive. Learn, be a sponge, but drive. Don't set the bar too high for yourself. If you end up doing better than maybe what you thought, awesome, but just take it race by race. As long as you're learning and you feel you're improving every race, then I think that's all you can kind of ask for yourself."
just a friendly reminder that daniel ricciardo is still mclaren’s last winner.

McLaren opted to go with F2 champion Oscar Piastri instead of Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 season after the Honey Badger failed to impress in his two years with the outfit. The eight-time race winner will now instead go back to his former team Red Bull and will take on the role of a reserve driver.

Despite the tensions that followed Piastri's entry to McLaren, Ricciardo had only words of encouragement for the young driver. The 33-year-old believes the rookie should try and use his time 'absorbing' as much as he can with his new team and not set too high an expectation for himself.

Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull's third driver role will help him remain involved in F1

Daniel Ricciardo believes his third driver role with Red Bull Racing will allow him to remain involved with the sport while he contemplates his options for the future. The Australian driver wanted a break from the sport citing exhaustion. Having the opportunity to drive an F1 car occasionally will ensure that the driver is fit enough to return to the grid, should he choose to.

He's back! Welcome home, @DanielRicciardo 🇦🇺 #DR3ack

Clarifying his position for next year, Daniel Ricciardo spoke to the on-site media at the Abu Dhabi test:

“To make things crystal clear, I’m still not on the grid next year. But look, it’s certainly a way to still stay involved and to give me the time necessary to take a back step... I just needed to step away for a bit, rebuild myself, reset a bit, and also just find the intense love for it. Because, at this level, if you don’t have that, then I’m not doing justice for myself or anyone around me. I’m not saying I’ve lost it, but I’m in fear of losing it.”

Ricciardo will once again play a pivotal role in Red Bull's trajectory, as simulation testing is essential for teams to get a better picture of how the car behaves. The driver, however, has confirmed that a racing seat is not a part of his contract for 2024, leading to widespread heartbreak for his fans.

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Edited by Anurag C
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