Daniel Ricciardo had to adjust after not getting 2015 F1 title shot

Daniel Ricciardo says he had to change his mental approach to this season after heading into it believing he had a shot at the Formula 1 title

Daniel Ricciardo had to adjust after not getting 2015 F1 title shot

Three wins and three other podium finishes last season with Red Bull propelled Ricciardo into a position where he had an outside shot at the championship heading into the final seven races.

Although his challenge eventually petered out and he was forced to settle for third in the standings behind Mercedes duo in champion Lewis Hamilton and runner-up Nico Rosberg, it fuelled Ricciardo's belief for this year.

But the Australian's hopes have been undermined by an under-performing Renault engine, and at times he has let his frustration rise to the surface.

"It's not been easy to be honest," Ricciardo told AUTOSPORT.

"I came into this season on a high from last year and I was really ready to fight for the title. Mentally I was prepared for doing that.

"Even after a few races I kept thinking 'We'll be right, we'll get there, we'll get there'.

"Prior to Hungary [where he finished third] it never really got any better, and I've definitely had to adjust.

"That doesn't mean I've had to adjust what I do behind the wheel, but the whole approach.

"Finding the same motivation, knowing you can only get sixth place or something, you've just got to make sure you're still staying focused.

"I'm still obviously very motivated to race, but what's been highlighted is when you're racing for victories it's a lot easier to get motivated."

Ricciardo appreciates he has occasionally let his emotions get the better of him this season, at one stage after qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix describing Red Bull as 'lost' due to the failure of the team's upgrades.

"Obviously there have been a few times this year I've got frustrated," he added.

"Sometimes I can get a little bit too emotional, so I've got to get back to the basics and just make sure I'm doing everything I've got to do.

"It's just making sure you're still focusing on the same things, and if the car's only good enough for sixth, then I've got to make sure I'm at least getting sixth."

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