Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2022

Ricciardo prefers break from racing and return to “familiarity” of Red Bull for 2023

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Daniel Ricciardo has explained why he didn’t pursue the chance of a race seat with another Formula 1 team next year and is set to agree terms to re-join Red Bull as a third driver.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner confirmed the talks with his former driver yesterday but stated Ricciardo is yet to sign a contract with them.

Ricciardo said the “timing” of his decision and the appeal of returning to a familiar environment has led him to seriously consider returning to his former team. Since leaving them at the end of 2018 he has spent two years each at Renault and McLaren, the latter cutting his three-year deal short as Ricciardo’s performance haven’t been up to scratch.

“There is something with probably a little bit of familiarity which swayed me a little bit towards Red Bull,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “I’ve obviously been jumping around a bit the last few years so maybe going back to something familiar might be a little, I don’t want to say easier, it’s not easy, but in a way perhaps a little easier.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner made contact with Ricciardo earlier in the year as he began his search for a replacement for Mick Schumacher. But Ricciardo admitted he had decided not to seek a race seat for next year.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“I don’t want to race next year, that’s the truth,” he said. “I don’t want to race next year. So that’s why not them.”

“It’s not that I wasn’t interested,” he explained. “I was very, very interested.

“I knew that I wanted some time off next year from a race seat and just from competition. It’s obviously been pretty tiring, I guess, the last couple of years and the struggles in that.

“So I felt like it was pretty clear to me shortly after the summer break, once we got back into racing, that that’s what I wanted and what was going to be best for me.”

That led him to consider a non-race seat at a leading team. “Then it was, okay, what’s the next best thing? And the more I thought about it then it was still to be involved to some degree and, obviously, if I can be involved with a top team, that’s obviously the preference.

“So in-depth conversations with both and it’s getting a lot closer now with Red Bull. It’s not done so that’s why I haven’t come out and confirmed it because that’s still the truth, it’s not done. But I can obviously look you in the eye and say it’s the most likely option at this stage.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

16 comments on “Ricciardo prefers break from racing and return to “familiarity” of Red Bull for 2023”

  1. Of course Money Badger prefers earning money for doing nothing at Red Bull, championship team, than risking being exposed by Magnussen at Haas. He absolutely doesn’t care about racing. It’s all about his status, fame and personal sponorship. What a money hungry manchild he is, unreal.

    1. Calm down.
      Ricciardo’s a bit like Rosberg. He’s made it quite clear that he’s not interested in racing in the midfield anymore. He wants a championship from F1 and nothing less.
      Nothing wrong with that. He certainly wouldn’t be competing for anything in a Haas.

      If he wants competitive racing, he won’t find it in F1.

      Remind me, how much do other proven F1 drivers get paid?
      Hamilton’s one of the wealthiest drivers ever, right? Can’t see him driving a Haas either.

      1. Yeah S, after two years of more often than not struggling to find how to even get pace from the McLaren, i can fully get Ricciardo wanting to take a bit of a breather and get a grip of himself a bit.

        Doing so in an environment he is comfortable with makes sense.

        It really isn’t about the money I don’t think @armchairexpert

    2. As if you’d have done differently in his place.

  2. So his Haas refusal was about him not wanting to race generally rather being uninterested. Interesting.

  3. Still trying to make sense of this from a RedBull perspective. What do they gain?

    1. Marketing I guess. A few Youtube videos, appearances at events. They think his image fits Red Bull and they are right I think.

    2. Well, put him in the sim and get him up to approximately Checo speed and then there won’t be any more requests coming from that quarter…

    3. Ricciardo appeals to a demographic that’s interesting to Red Bull. A lot of people won’t even know he’s not actually racing, just that he is ‘that F1 guy with Red Bull’.

      Plus having him on board puts some pressure on Pérez, who is still way behind Verstappen most of the time.

  4. Most likely that’s his racing career in F1 over with then. And his legacy will be debated endlessly in the coming years by people arguing whether he was the ‘potential WDC’ who made some bad career decisions, or ultimately, just a bit over-rated and not actually as good as was first thought.

    1. I think he’s a button, maybe looked a bit faster than him at red bull, but in any case, someone that with the top car (not dominant) and a weaker team mate could’ve won a championship, and he joined red bull at the wrong moment, when they got worse after dominant seasons, and on top of that got paired with a star team mate. Obiously since 2010 there’s only been 2 teams where you can realistically win and since you have to beat a team mate like hamilton or verstappen, the chances for a title in those circumstances are unrealistic.

  5. Ricciardo performed well against Max and totally dominated Ocon at Renault. For some reason (perhaps age & motivation) he just hasn’t been able to get it together at McLaren

    1. He’s nowhere near old enough to be suffering from age-related decline, but maybe he’s not a very adaptable driver, like raikkonen: no comparison between ferrari raikkonen in the 2nd stint and mclaren raikkonen.

  6. Fact is : he’s getting old, will be 34 next year, his career is on life support. The shortest way for a competitive F1 drive is Red Bull sending Perez home early. If that doesn’t happen he can pretend to love what he is doing even if everybody knows he doesn’t.

    Other guys went to IndyCar and are doing fine, Ericsson even won a Indy500.

    But i guess he isn’t interested in that.

    1. I don’t see why so many think it’s about age: age related decline only starts at 35, and it’s not even noticeable with hamilton or alonso.

  7. It will be odd if that is his last F1 drive, Vettle retires, Ricciardo and Latifi gone, and only one will really be remembered as a great. Seems like a poor farewell given his past performance against Vettle.

    I will be interested to see who becomes the new “Super Sub” now that the Hulk and de Vries have seats, will it be Ricciardo or Vettle?

Comments are closed.