Daniel Ricciardo remains defiant in the face of extreme pressure from McLaren team boss Zak Brown and teammate Lando Norris. A number of questions have been raised about the Australian's long-term future in Formula 1 after a massive loss of form.

The former Red Bull Racing driver is into the second of his three-year deal signed with McLaren in 2021. He was expected to be the leader within the team, as the driver with more experience than teammate Norris.

However, since his move to the Woking-based team, his standing as one of the top drivers in the sport has taken a massive hit. Ricciardo has failed to come to terms with the McLaren and has been consistently and comprehensively beaten by the young British racer.

The Australian, whose one highlight came with his win in Monza last season, remains confident that his recent descent is only temporary, and that he can get back to his best sooner rather than later. After a difficult start to the 2022 season, Ricciardo is aware that he could be fighting for his future with McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo was the surprise winner in Monza ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP

"It kind of ebbs and flows where sometimes I'll get down on myself," Ricciardo told Crash.net. "But then other times, I'm fired up and motivated to prove a lot of people wrong and prove myself right."

"But already in April and May [last year] there were articles like 'he's lost it' but six months earlier in 2020 I was regarded as one of the standout drivers of that season," he added. "The reality is I've not forgotten how to drive in six months, I haven't lost my competitive edge, it's just kind of a moment in time that I knew I could come out of."

Ricciardo is aware of Brown's comments with regards to potentially replacing the Australian. The McLaren CEO admitted there are break clauses in their drivers' contracts that allow them to terminate the deal before its conclusion.

The eight-time race winner, however, is not stopping think of potentially leaving McLaren at the end of the ongoing season. He is keen to prove his naysayers wrong when the eighth race of the season gets underway at Azerbaijan this Sunday.

"I think long story short, I know I can still do it, and I believe 100% in myself. Even if that wavered a bit last year, it's definitely back. It's easy to look on paper and be like 'it's no different' but I'll keep at it. I think people forget, so right now sitting here today, I'm excited to remind people," Ricciardo said.

Zak Brown
'Devastating': McLaren boss Zak Brown Peter PARKS/AFP