Eight-time Formula 1 race winner Daniel Ricciardo looks back on a difficult time as a McLaren driver. Due to the failures of the past year, the Australian even suffered from eating disorders.
Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo was in free fall in the McLaren last year. At the end of the year he finished a disappointing twelfth place in the drivers’ standings, having clearly lost the duel with his team-mate Lando Norris. This is one of the reasons why the separation at the end of the season was communicated early on, and his compatriot Oscar Piastri has been in the cockpit since 2023. Ricciardo himself could not get a place in Formula 1 and ended up working for Red Bull as a reserve driver.
The 33-year-old revealed to the “RaceFans” portal how difficult the time was at McLaren at the end of the Monaco race. Ricciardo openly admitted that he also suffered from health problems: “I don’t want to go too far and say: ‘Yes, I was depressed’ or something, but I certainly haven’t always eaten that much. I think I just don’t feel well felt.”
Ricciardo elaborated: “I just wasn’t that happy anymore, not my normal self anymore.” He felt “this nervous energy” in himself, which was ultimately reflected in his eating habits: “I didn’t have that much appetite anymore, I was just a bit scattered.” As a result, he ended up losing weight.
Daniel Ricciardo “rested and happy” after returning to Red Bull
The Australian is not the first Formula 1 driver who had to go through those experiences. Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas made public eating disorders at the beginning of the year, which burdened him at the beginning of his career in Formula 1. “There was no official diagnosis of an eating disorder, but there was definitely one. I trained myself physically and mentally sick. It got out of control and became an addiction,” said the Finn on a TV show.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo feels healthy again. His return to Red Bull is exactly what he had promised for the year: “The break is just right, I feel relaxed and happy.”