Daniel Ricciardo revealed of Porsche Le Mans talks with Andreas Seidl back in 2014/15 as Romain Grosjean shows IndyCar interest but doesn’t speak on AJ Foyt drive.
As he prepares to move to McLaren in 2021, outgoing Renault driver Ricciardo finds himself heading into an unfamiliar environment, led by a team principal with whom he has never officially worked with, Andreas Seidl – who returned to the sport after leading Porsche.
However, Ricciardo explains that he had communication with Seidl at one point whilst the German was pursuing a Le Mans driver for Porsche – the seat that went to Nico Hulkenberg. The Australian revealed the news when asked about how it has been working with team principals so far and how he looks at his future boss at McLaren.
“There’s been some characters, but actually I genuinely feel like I’ve learned from all of them and tried to benefit from their traits as bosses,” said Ricciardo to media including Motorsport Network, Racefans.net, BBC, F1 site and more. “Particularly when you’re young, you need to rely on experienced people, people who have been in the sport for longer, and try to learn their lessons and be a bit of a sponge.
“I guess I’m stubborn in some ways, but in terms of learning and wanting to keep developing for myself, I don’t feel I’ve ever been stubborn and that’s helped to learn from these guys. Andreas is a guy that I do really look forward to working with. I was first in contact with him I think back in 2014-15,
“There was a bit of a push to try and do Le Mans at the time with Porsche and there was a little bit of small talks, but I’ve heard people who have worked with him speak very highly and I’m looking forward to that. I’ll keep being a sponge and trying to make myself better,” Ricciardo said in a revealing story.
The 31-year-old would have been one of a few successful F1 drivers to recently try their hand at a different racing series while still active, though numerous drivers have deployed their talents elsewhere after leaving the championship. Notable examples include Stoffel Vandoorne, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, and others.
Another driver in Haas’ outgoing Romain Grosjean has been rumored to join this list, though, at the conclusion of 2020. The Frenchman has been linked to AJ Foyt Racing in IndyCar – especially by the US-based Racer website – where he has a chance to join former F1 talent Sebastien Bourdais.
While Grosjean confessed to an interest in the series, he restated that nothing is “concrete” and did not speak much on the discussions with AJ Foyt. Other reported teams are Andretti Autosport and Ed Carpenter Racing. Earlier in the weekend, the Frenchman stated that he wanted to move to a team and or series where he can win.
But AJ Foyt isn’t a front-running IndyCar outfit at the current juncture. They have Bourdais now to spearhead their team from 2021 onward, while the seats beside him remains to be filled. Last year, they fielded Charlie Kimball and Dalton Kellett along with Tony Kaanan in ovals but it is not clear if the former two will stick with the team.
Here’s what Romain Grosjean said on Thursday
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo on 2021 tyres