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Max Verstappen believes Daniel Ricciardo should never have left Red Bull as it would have been better for the Aussie.
Daniel Ricciardo is set to make his return to Red Bull Racing next year. After leaving the team in 2018, Ricciardo moved to Renault for two years, before switching to McLaren.
His time at McLaren has seen him underperform compared to McLaren teammate Lando Norris. As a result, Ricciardo is leaving the Woking outfit a year earlier than expected.
Ricciardo’s next adventure is being the third driver for Red Bull, who still have Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez as their full-time drivers. The Australian commented on his return to Red Bull, saying “it is like going home”.
Ricciardo’s time with Red Bull started in 2014 and lasted four years. During that time, Ricciardo achieved success and began the tradition of a ‘shoey’ when he was on the podium.
Now, Ricciardo is returning to Red Bull and two-time world champion Max Verstappen has commented on his former teammate’s return.
Ricciardo should never have left
Verstappen, who partnered with Ricciardo from 2016 to 2018, spoke to Formule1.nl. When speaking about Ricciardo’s return, the Dutchman said:
“It would have been better for Daniel if he had stayed longer at Red Bull at the time.”
Verstappen continued saying: “I did talk to him about it. It’s also about feeling comfortable somewhere. That was no longer the case at one point. Then you have to look at alternatives and make the trade-off between sporting success and feeling good somewhere.”
Adding to his comments, Verstappen acknowledged that “everyone at Red Bull had [Ricciardo’s] best interests at heart.” He reflected on the Aussie leaving Red Bull and said, “instead of leaving, he could have talked to the team about it. But it turned out the way it did.”
After leaving Red Bull and going to Renault and then McLaren, Ricciardo feels that he is “in fear of losing” his love for Formula One. He admitted that doing 24 races “would have just probably worn [him] out”, so he “needed to slow [his] year down.”
Verstappen told Formule1.nl that having Ricciardo as the third driver for Red Bull is a good thing. He said, “we don’t have to start missing his character in Formula 1.”
But the 2022 world champion did admit that whilst “Daniel comes across well and laughs a lot…in the end, it’s not about the laughs. It’s about the performances.”
He continued saying:
“Daniel has certainly delivered those in the past, but in F1, the rule is that you are only as good as your last race.”
For Ricciardo, his time at McLaren has seen several lows but also a great high when he won the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. His final race with the team saw him finish P9 in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bagging two points.
It was a better result than the majority of this season. But with him joining Red Bull for 2023, Ricciardo can reset and refocus.
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