Ricciardo considered McLaren before Renault switch

  • 18 Jan 2019 12:21
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo says that he was left with three options for a 2019 drive, including McLaren. The Australian opted to leave Red Bull after five years and join Renault on a two-year deal.

Ricciardo was expected to be on the verge of signing an extension with Red Bull before he decided on the Enstone squad. However, speaking to RACER, the seven-time Grand Prix winner admits that he clicked well with McLaren, but was not encouraged by its pace.

“McLaren, as a group – I had a couple of meetings with them – and I thought they were really cool people,” he said. “Definitely as personnel I like them a lot. Not that I don’t like Red Bull or anyone else, but I had a really positive vibe with them.

"But obviously, they’ll admit it, they’re just not there yet, and it just seemed probably a bit too optimistic to go there at that point. So that kind of eliminated them. Then Renault we were kind of talking to a bit, and eventually it just kind of clicked for me and I was like ‘Alright, so it’s a works team, progress they’ve made is good, it’s two years and a solid deal’."

Ricciardo added that based on personality, McLaren would've been a good fit for him: “I think if it was completely personal then McLaren would have been as attractive as anyone,” the 29-year-old stated. “But there was still obviously a big chunk of performance there.

“The presentation and everything that Renault put forward, it seemed… We all know they’ve still got work to do with chassis and engine, but what they showed me, what they’ve done the last two years, when they put it on paper it all added up, and their trajectory seems realistic if that makes sense. It just seemed like it could work.

“It just seemed like the right fit, and I was like ‘You know what? That’s it’. It got to that point as well where what I really felt I just need a change, and just to break the routine, really."

Renault re-joined the F1 grid in 2016 and has been growing ever since. Last year, it ended the season in fourth place, winning the 'best of the rest' battle.

Replies (2)

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  • McLaren just isnt ready for another top driver yet. They need a year or two off the spotlight to lick their wounds and rebuild.

    • + 0
    • Jan 18 2019 - 18:32
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,045

    I think that he would have been a great fit for McLaren however you can't really argue with his logic over choosing Renault.

    The desire to leave and need change his routine is an interesting one though. Since Redbull had changed to Honda there would have been loads of things changing from that perspective. These things would be changing in his current job but I think it's more to do with him personally. I think that not being able to beat his team mate had an massive influence on this desire and might have been the seed that sparked it all.

    Anyway he's a very good driver, great team mate and looks like an general great guy with loads of humor let's hope he doesn't lose this because of this desire.

    • + 0
    • Jan 19 2019 - 07:03

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