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Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, arrives on the grid
Autosport Plus
Formula 1 Belgian GP
Special feature

How “more balanced” Ricciardo has learned to manage his F1 travails

A year ago Daniel Ricciardo was under fire at McLaren, but turned his season around with a spectacular win at Monza. Now, as OLEG KARPOV explains, he’s got to do it all over again just to preserve his place in Formula 1 after the shock news of his departure from McLaren…

It’s classic Daniel Ricciardo. As we take our seats at the table on the first floor of McLaren’s hospitality unit, he flashes a wide grin and extends his hand, inviting GP Racing to a lively handshake. He’s at the end of a marathon of sorts, having had several consecutive interviews crammed into his schedule after the FIA press conference, but he’s still chipper and ready to answer questions – even though most of them won’t be of the pleasant variety. He’s used to it, after all. It’s become his routine – pretty much from the start of his McLaren tenure.

It’s the Thursday ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, and only a few in the paddock have even the faintest idea of how crazy the next week will be. Ricciardo knew he was facing a fight to retain his seat at McLaren – he’s about to learn that fight will be to retain a role in Formula 1, with news of his departure coming on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix on Wednesday.

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