DANIEL RICCIARDO wants to copy Lewis Hamilton’s blueprint for success at Renault.
The Aussie quit Red Bull last season to join the French car giant, with many scoffing at his decision to leave the Milton Keynes-based team.
But joker Ricciardo, 29, says he can have the last laugh – just as Hamilton did when people blasted his move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013.
He said: “I can certainly take something from Lewis’ success with Mercedes.
“It may feel like it now, but his success wasn’t immediate. That 2013 season wasn’t straightforward. He won once in Budapest but it wasn’t smooth-sailing.
“That tested him that year, and even his run up until 2014 wasn’t straightforward.
“His persistence is something alone to take, and look at him now. It has given him more years in the sport.
“Without his success he would have walked away probably a few years ago so that is certainly motivating and proof in the pudding that it can be done.
“We have the resources. It isn’t like we are working off half the budget of the others. I certainly feel like there is no reason why we can’t do.
“There is still a lot in this sport that I have not accomplished that I want. The big one is the world title.
“A lot of people, when I did sign here, were saying ‘why has he done that?’.
“I feel as though maybe not everyone sees it as a serious move so I want to make it work and prove it is serious.
“Sure, it is a bonus to be working at a new factory, but I want to do something with it and show people I am not just taking a backwards step.”
Ricciardo won twice in 2018 despite being hit by awful reliability problems.
He was forced to retire in eight of the 21 races due to mechanical failures and frequently blew his top.
But he says his outbursts only proves that he cares about his results and is disappointed whenever he does not fulfil his potential.
He added: “It can bring you down, but that is also a sign for me that I f****** care. I really care, and I want to be successful.
“I care because I believe I can do it, so having that feeling for 24 hours is tough, but I always come back out knowing that it is for the right reasons.
“If I am like ‘f*** this s***!’ it is not because I really feel that way, but it is like I wish it didn’t suck this much, but it is going to make me stronger.
“It is not the most straightforward sport and it has given me a lot of experience in life and I would not change it.
“But, if I was nine again, would I pick up a tennis racquet? Potentially, but it is really because I care.”
Ricciardo cut his ties with Red Bull to join Renault and could be forgiven for wanting to get one over his former team, who backed his ex-teammate, Max Verstappen, with a megabucks deal.
However, speaking at Renault F1 team’s HQ in Enstone in Oxfordshire Ricciardo says he is not motivated by revenge.
He said: “Honestly, I don’t wish anything negative on Red Bull. There is none of that.
“I don’t hope that they fail. It is more from a personal point of view: I hope I succeed, and by succeeding is if we can beat Red Bull but it is not just them.
“If we could jump anyone in the top three that would be equally as satisfying.”