"I definitely back myself": Daniel Ricciardo on how he would fare in a potential MMA fight against Lewis Hamilton

F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Previews
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren attend the drivers press conference during previews

AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo has said that he would definitely back himself in a potential MMA fight against Lewis Hamilton.

The Aussie driver is a massive fan of MMA and follows UFC in his spare time. He often talks about his love for the sport and even challenged the seven-time world champion to a fight after he saw him training in a boxing ring.

While speaking with British television personality Big Zuu in 2021 for UFC, in one of his answers, Daniel Ricciardo said that he would back himself to come out on top in a potential fight with Lewis Hamilton. He said:

ā€œIā€™d definitely back myself. I maybe did a dozen BJJ lessons around 8 years ago now. I think I have watched enough MMA over the time to have half an idea of what to do."

Daniel Ricciardo gives his take on his 2023 return to F1

Daniel Ricciardo returned to racing after a six-month hiatus from the sport as his contract with McLaren was prematurely ended due to his poor performances with the team in 2021 and 2022.

At the beginning of the season, the Aussie driver joined Red Bull as a reserve driver and was on the sidelines until the Hungarian Grand Prix, when he got the chance to drive the AlphaTauri replacing Nyck De Vries.

His comeback in the sport, however, was short-lived as he suffered a hand injury at the Dutch Grand Prix, which saw him miss five races on the bounce.

Speaking with Motorsport.com, Daniel Ricciardo said of his injury:

"Obviously, I wish this never happened, just because it was uncomfortable and painful and whatever. But now that it's obviously done, I still look back on this year as a positive. Because sitting here a year ago, I was like, 'Could this be my last race?'"

He added:

"I don't exaggerate when I say that. I really didn't know. I honestly thought it was 50-50. So, to have the year I've had and forget the hand, I just kind of feel a little bit maybe reborn again, is kind of the right word. I feel just re-energized. And I've definitely got a second wind. If I then speak of the hand, for this not to feel like a setback probably speaks volumes."

The eight-time race winner will hope to build on from the 2023 season heading into 2024 as he might have a shot at driving for the Red Bull F1 team if he performs well with AlphaTauri.

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Edited by Shubham Banerjee