Daniel Ricciardo opens up on F1 Beyond the Grid podcast episode discussing about Red Bull, McLaren and decisions.
The F1 Beyond The Grid podcast featured Ricciardo, who without a drive for 2023 is to return to Red Bull as third driver for the 2023 season. The podcast begins at the end of the season just gone and he alludes to the fact he is content and relieved to have made it through the year 2022.
He says he is excited to have rejoined Red Bull and advises that it feels really right to be there and is still involved in some ways. He notes that the competition is why he does and has loved competing since he was a child in all sports. But at this age, he needs to find a better balance in his life.
Talking about his third driver role, Ricciardo stated that it consists of simulator, debriefs and marketing as well as driving and that he be an advocate for the team in terms of a brand ambassador. This discussion led to the talks about the shock of leaving Red Bull in 2018. He says he hasn’t really looked back at Red Bull despite Max Verstappen’s success and does not regret his switch to Renault.
For 2024, he clarifies that there is no race seat in the offing but he wants to be on the grid that season. Moving on, Ricciardo then speaks about his time at McLaren and his struggles in both seasons adapting to the car. He says there was tremendous dedication to the task and that he struggled in Barcelona after the car was upgraded but before that he was fine.
Bottom line is his time at McLaren was all down to confidence but he never had any plans to quit mid-season when times were tough. He thinks there were good races to come and feels quitting would have been an easy way out. The topic shifted back to his time at Red Bull and there being only a fraction between him and Verstappen. He would love to have a chance to drive the 2021 Red Bull to keep his eye in.
He doesn’t truly believe that 2022 Abu Dahbi GP was his last race. He talks about almost joining Haas and feels he is possibly burnt out. They then discussed about confidence levels and that his pole lap in Mexico in 2018 was all down to it and him knowing the car well. He did feel that despite the issues at McLaren, the car did on occasion do what he wanted but there was no real consistency.
Amid this, Ricciardo talked about almost driving for Mercedes in previous seasons where he feels it would have been fun to drive with Lewis Hamilton and potential reserve role with them in 2023. But he notes that his initial chats with Red Bull made it feel right to go back. Also the talks with Verstappen and Sergioe Perez went well too.
Talking more about confidence, Ricciardo recalls that he had so much confidence in 2014 and that he saw a bit of himself in Lando Norris this year. In terms of comparisons, he says he can’t compare Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen and Norris. Talking of McLaren, he says Tom Stallard and Andreas Seidl will help Oscar Piastri massively in 2023.
As for himself, he will do a lot of non racing activity next season when not involved with Red Bull. He is hoping to get to Superbowl and also talks about UFC and being a big fan of boxing. They then discuss about about Vettel’s retirement dinner which was really refreshing and everyone got on well that day and that he would love to come back and get a send-off like Vettel.
Here’s the F1 podcast with Daniel Ricciardo: https://audioboom.com/posts/8204712-daniel-ricciardo-not-done-with-f1
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo joining Red Bull