Daniel Ricciardo Opens up on ‘A Little Bit of Small Talks’ That Red Bull Blocked

November 28, 2020 10:31 am

Daniel Ricciardo will be on the move yet again at the end of the season. Two years after leaving Red Bull to become the ‘alpha’ driver at Renault, he is leaving them for McLaren. The Woking-based outfit’s rise and ambition in the past couple of seasons have impressed the Australian. The man chiefly responsible for its upturn is none other than their team principal, Andreas Seidl.

Daniel Ricciardo offered Le Mans drive in 2015

The Red Bull Academy graduate had a breakthrough campaign in 2014, where he won his first three races. This intrigued Seidl, who was heading Porsche’s Le Mans program, at the time. On their initial talks, Ricciardo said

“I was first in contact with him, I think back in 2014. There was a bit of a push to try and do Le Mans at the time with Porsche and there were a little bit of small talks.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Renault drinks out of a shoe as race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes pours champagne over his head on the podium after the race Pool via Reuters/Miguel Medina

However, Red Bull blocked its driver from competing in the most famous Endurance race. Ultimately, Nico Hulkenberg got the nod and won the race.

“Yeah, we had some conversations back in the day.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t get permission at that time to join the project. I think that would have been an interesting experience for us, but also for him. The car he was supposed to drive actually won Le Mans,” McLaren team boss, Seidl, revealed.

Ricciardo and Seidl looking forward to finally working together

It is the second time that they have a chance at working together. The Aussie can’t wait to learn from the team principal, “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.”

Unsurprisingly, the German engineer feels likewise. He is a fan of the driver for his demeanor on and off the track –

“Daniel was always a driver I was following throughout his entire F1 career. I always liked his performance on-track, but also the way how he comes across as a person outside of the car with his positivity. That is something very important for me also to have within the team.”

‘Honey-badger’ is one of the most lovable characters in Formula 1. Together with Lando Norris, they will form an entertaining duo who can drive incredibly fast too. Signing him was a simple decision for a team that aspires to get back to the top.

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