Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he expected to be in contention for the Formula One world championship in 2015, but learned plenty from a difficult campaign.
Three race wins made Ricciardo the breakout star of the 2014 season, but difficulties with the Renault power unit restricted him to just one podium finish across the course of 2015.
The Australian finished the year eighth in the final standings, and admitted that it had been difficult to keep in the right frame of mind given Red Bull’s struggles.
“I would say it was a mild roller-coaster, but one which I’ve got off from with lessons learned and maturity gained,” Ricciardo said when asked to describe his season.
“I think this year I’ve learned to control, or understand, different scenarios, situations and emotions. It’s been a lot more challenging year off-track, in terms of staying on the right track mentally.
“For example, coming into the season I expected to come out and fight for the title. That was where I mentally put myself.
“Then obviously after a few races you start to get frustrated, because you’re not getting what you want so you then have to take a step back to understand how you can make the best of the situation you’re in.”
Ricciardo also said that he believes teammate Daniil Kvyat has matured during his sophomore season in F1, and that he sees the Russian as being ‘older’ than he did before.
“He as a person has matured,” Ricciardo said. “Obviously, he’s still young, so he’s going through a lot of that. I probably look at him as an older person now than I did at the start of the year.
“You’ll always be competitive with your teammate and we are. When I’m beating him he’s a bit quieter and when he’s beating me I am. That’s just how it works, but we get on pretty well. I can’t complain!”