Ricciardo hints at Red Bull Racing reunion

Daniel Ricciardo is not shying away from his interest in re-joining Max Verstappen at Red Bull Racing.

The Australian, currently nursing a fractured hand, exited Formula 1 at the close of the previous year following a challenging two-year period with McLaren.

“I didn’t fall out with anyone in the team,” Ricciardo mentioned to the official Goodwood site, “but it’s all performance-based and, let’s say, the business side of it didn’t work out.”

Openly acknowledging the situation, the 33-year-old conveyed he was “fired”, subsequently returning to Australia with a mindset of “didn’t care anymore”.

“I guess, in a way, I thank them for making that decision because we were in a bit of a hole, and I’m not sure we could have got out of it,” reflected Ricciardo.

Christian Horner, the managing figure at Red Bull Racing, is speculated to have played a pivotal role in bringing Ricciardo back into the Red Bull F1 circle.

“He had picked up a lot of bad habits,” Horner commented. “It took some of his old engineering team to unpick some of those and very quickly, and in a virtual world, get him back on a par with what we were used to.”

After the hand injury, following his re-association with Alpha Tauri, Ricciardo is geared up for a full-season commitment in 2024.

Yet, whispers persist surrounding the performance of Sergio Perez at Red Bull Racing, even with the Mexican’s 2024 contract in place.

When the conversation steered towards Horner, Ricciardo shared: “In terms of what I felt coming back into the family, his investment in me, his interest, the open arms, I feel he’s been a really big supporter. He really wanted me to get back to a level he knows I’m capable of.

“A lot of people probably lost a little bit of faith in me over the last couple of years, but I felt like the things he was doing to make me comfortable, setting me up with (former race engineer) Simon (Rennie), he still believes I can do it, and he just wants to see it.”

Now, his vision is clear: to retake his position next to Max Verstappen.

“I told Christian ‘Look, now that I’m back in the family, I feel so much happier and like myself that I don’t want to leave’.

“The big picture is that I would love to get back to the top team. If it means next year I’m working my way back up, that’s also exciting,” he concluded.