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HomeMotorsportsDamon Hill: Daniel Ricciardo may no longer be motivated enough

Damon Hill: Daniel Ricciardo may no longer be motivated enough

Damon Hill knows from his own experience that motivation drops at the end of a long career – is Daniel Ricciardo also struggling with this problem?

Is Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 career slowly coming to an end? Even though rumors that the Australian could lose his cockpit as early as Miami have recently been denied by Red Bull, Ricciardo is currently experiencing another difficult phase

In the internal qualifying duel against his Racing Bulls team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, the score is 0:3 from his perspective after the first three races of the season, and he is still without points in the world championship, while Tsunoda recently finished a strong seventh in Melbourne, scoring six important points.

Damon Hill, 1996 world champion, also says in the F1 Nation podcast that the Australian had another “tough weekend” at his home race in Melbourne. And he also suggests what the reason for this might be.

“As I approached the end of my career, I definitely found it harder to motivate myself because […] you know there’s life after that,” recalls Hill, who retired from Formula 1 at the end of 1999 – and had already passed his peak by then.

After becoming world champion in 1996, he scored just seven championship points in his farewell season three years later, while his Jordan team-mate at the time, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, collected a whopping 54 points, won two races and finished third in the world championship

Does Ricciardo lack the necessary bite?

Hill even thought about hanging up his helmet during the season, but eventually finished the season – albeit clearly in the shadow of the German, who was even in contention for the championship at one point.

Frentzen was seven years younger than Hill at the time, and Ricciardo is currently also up against a team-mate at Tsunoda who is even eleven years younger. Hill explains in this context: “When you’re younger, you only see Formula 1 in the future.”

Ricciardo, on the other hand, has already had a solid career, Hill reminds us. The Australian, who celebrates his 35th birthday in July, has already won eight races in Formula 1, while Tsunoda is “fighting for his survival” in the premier class, according to Hill.

Does Ricciardo perhaps lack this bite at his age? “It’s hard to motivate yourself when you see all the other things that are out there [away from Formula 1],” explains Hill, who suspects some “distractions” with Ricciardo.

The Australian had already left the premier class once after the 2022 season after his contract with McLaren was terminated. He returned to the cockpit of the then AlphaTauri team in mid-2023, having previously kept fit as a Red Bull test driver.

Another departure from Formula 1 could be a permanent one next time

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