Despite Public Flirtation, Toto Wolff Opens Up on Daniel Ricciardo Ditching Mercedes for Rival “Home” Team: “We Just Needed Time”

Published 12/06/2022, 8:55 AM EST

The pinnacle of motor sports can be deeper and trickier than we think. One such latest example is Daniel Ricciardo, who was at the fork of the road while choosing between Mercedes and Red Bull. At one time, it seemed that the fans were going to witness Mercedes packed with three Alpha drivers. However, the Australian preferred his ex-team over the German manufacturers. And now recently the Mercedes boss revealed why Danny Ric ditched the Silver Arrows for the rival ‘Home’ team.

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The Australian driver was out of a seat for the next season after Mclaren ousted him following a run of largely disappointing 2 years. Post the season finale, the Red Bull camp confirmed that the Australian driver will rejoin them but this time as a reserve driver. As it’s known that the Honey badger was in talks with some of the other top teams too, one of them being the Brackley-based Mercedes. At a point, it was certain that the Australian driver was going to be a part of the Silver Arrows as there was enough evidence of both parties getting involved with each other.

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Actually, Ricciardo happens to have his own Merchandise Ric 3, which has been worn by Toto Wolff and George Russell, that gave proof that the ex-McLaren driver was all set to join the Silver Arrows. However, this didn’t happen and now Mercedes’s boss opened up on the matter, “Yeah, there were discussions,” said Wolff. “ He is a super guy. There is nothing to say. It’s a shame that he is not in a cockpit because Daniel Ricciardo needs to be in a race car.”

Wolff finally concluded what made Ricciardo join Red Bull, he added, “Basically, we just needed time to figure out what we wanted to do, and Red Bull was his home for a long time, He knows the people and he hopefully has a good deal there.”

The fans were curious to know why the Honey Badger turned down the deal with Mercedes and opted to join the Milton Keynes side. Let’s know it from Ricciardo himself.

Daniel Ricciardo opened up about why he chose Red Bull over Mercedes

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How lovely the scenes would have been if Ricciardo had joined the Silver Arrows, but it’s all been done, and the Honey badger has joined Red Bull as a reserve driver. The eight times Grand Prix winner had made it very clear that he only wants to race in F1 when his batteries are fully charged and for that, he needs to get some time to for rest.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 01: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren F1 looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 01, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

In the fast lane podcast Ricciardo opened up that he had talks with many teams including the silver arrows as well, but for him, a return to Red Bull made much more sense. He said, “So there were talks with Mercedes as well, and I was also, let’s say, appreciative of their engagement as well, because there was certainly an appetite for that,” he said. “Let’s say it kind of stalled a little bit, and then the Red Bull stuff started to make more and more sense and had more and more legs, and then it naturally progressed as it did.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Struggling ‘Honey Badger’ Daniel Ricciardo Once Dominated the Streets of Azerbaijan in Glorious 2017 

The fans tagged the move by the Australian equivalent to going back to their ex, but Ricciardo feels that being with a top team made much more sense than hanging at the back of the grid. Nevertheless, do you think Ricciardo made a correct move re-joining the Milton Keynes side?

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Aditya Srivastava

327 articles

Aditya Srivastava is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Although he has completed his undergrad in History, due to his passion for the field, he couldn't hold himself back from entering the world of Sports Journalism. Being a huge fan of Formula 1, Aditya has taken up multiple internships and freelancing gigs where he got to pen down his thoughts about the most prestigious form of motor racing in the world.

Edited By: Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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