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Ricciardo: I took a little bit of a gamble leaving Red Bull

Ricciardo: I took a little bit of a gamble leaving Red Bull

Ricciardo: I took a little bit of a gamble leaving Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo didn’t enjoy the success after leaving Red Bull at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season, and now admits that decision was a bit of a gamble.

Daniel Ricciardo has eight wins to his name in F1, three pole positions, and 24 podiums; all achieved with Red Bull except for his final win at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix at Monza which he achieved with McLaren.

It goes to show the turn in fortunes the Aussie suffered since leaving Red Bull to Renault in 2019 and then to McLaren two seasons later in 2021, as he was never the same exciting and fast driver who was a joy to watch during his energy drinks’ days.

Speaking to Beyond The Grid podcast, Ricciardo reflected on his decision to leave Red Bull, given the huge success Max Verstappen enjoyed after he left, a success he could’ve shared had he stayed.

“I don’t look at it like that, because nothing is sure,” the Honey Badger said. “If I stayed there the last four years, could I say I would have had more podiums than I’ve had? What have I had, maybe three or something? Yeah, I’m confident to say I would have had more podiums than I’ve had.

“But you just don’t know,” he insisted. “Obviously at the time I felt like it was right for me. I felt like I needed a change and I needed to kind of just remove myself a bit. If I continued [at Red Bull], would that urge have grown? Would I have become, let’s say, more curious or less happy, or whatever?

Not sure staying at Red Bull would’ve been great

“It’s not a sure thing that it would have been great if I stayed. I don’t look back and say, ‘Man, I shouldn’t have [left]’. But, of course, I can be honest with myself and say, ‘Yeah, I took a little bit of a gamble on myself’,” Ricciardo admitted.

The 33-year-old from Perth, Australia did not set the world alight with Renault but is nevertheless proud with what he achieved with the French team.

“I still feel like the Renault [move] was pretty good, especially 2020 – [that was] one of the best seasons I’ve driven in F1. To get the team back on the podium, I was very proud of that,” he reflected.

As for McLaren; he commented: “But obviously the McLaren one, even with the win… the win was a high and I can’t remove that, I can’t ignore that. I can look and say, ‘I tried as well with this one [and] it didn’t quite work out’.

“You live and you learn, but I don’t look back with regret. I just say, ‘Okay, it was a challenge I took on, and it didn’t work out how I hoped’,” Ricciardo maintained.

Since his contract was prematurely terminated with McLaren, Ricciardo has found refuge with Red Bull, who have taken him back in as a third driver, as he plots to make a return to the grid in 2024 and beyond.