Ricciardo: McLaren form no influence on Red Bull happiness
By Mat Coch
Saturday 1st April, 2023 - 11:29am
Daniel Ricciardo has explained his current happiness working as third driver for Red Bull has nothing to do with McLaren’s current F1 form.
The Australian parted company with McLaren at the end of last year following two trying seasons together.
His old team has faced a tough start to 2023 with CEO Zak Brown and team principal Andrea Stella admitting the car missed its pre-season targets.
More recently, a restructure has seen technical director James Key leave the operation.
After two races, McLaren is one of only two teams without a championship point to its name.
“It’s nothing to do with … I mean, they’ve only had two races,” Ricciardo told selected media, including Speedcafe.
“It’s nothing to do with where they are and I don’t wish bad of them, of course. It’s definitely not like that.
“But I’m definitely happy taking this year off because every year you start there’s a new car, there’s new hope and new optimism but I know that nothing’s guaranteed in the sport.
“If it was to be another difficult year, especially for me as an individual, I know that would probably drive me that step further away from the sport.
“I was certainly in fear of losing the love for it,” he added.
“I didn’t want to risk that because I felt like I still certainly had enough of it to hold on to it.
“I just felt like the risk wasn’t worth it. That’s kind of where I’m at.”
Ricciardo has this weekend made his first appearance in an F1 paddock since rejoining Red Bull.
Along with sitting in on debriefs with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, he’s been kept busy with commercial commitments.
He was at a Ford event on Thursday before being whisked to a new partnership launch with Mick Fanning later in the day.
There, he admitted that he was leaning towards pursuing a Formula 1 return next season, the first time he’d made such an admission.
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