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Ricciardo admits he held discussions with Ferrari

  • Published on 29 May 2020 11:13
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo admits that he held discussions with Ferrari before he opted to join McLaren for the 2021 season.

Earlier this month, a seat emerged at the Italian squad when it announced that Sebastian Vettel would be leaving at the end of the 2020 campaign.

Ricciardo was heavily linked with the open drive, however Carlos Sainz was announced as Ferrari's new driver for 2021, paving the way for Ricciardo to take the Spaniard's place at McLaren.


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"There have been discussions [with Ferrari] already from a few years back,” Ricciardo admitted to CNN. “And that continued all the way through to now. So yeah, I won't deny that. But obviously it's never really come to fruition.

"Everyone says it would be a good fit, obviously, with my name and all the background stuff, but yeah, I try not to get emotionally caught up in any kind of situation.

"I see how Carlos is a fit for the team. So I don't really look at it like 'why not me?' I just look at it: Yeah, Carlos had a very strong 2019. He's a bit of hot property right now, and I guess it's a good fit for where they are at.”

'No light bulb moment with McLaren decision'

Ricciardo joined Renault in 2019 after spending the whole turbo-hybrid era up to that point with Red Bull Racing, where he picked up seven grand prix wins.

The Australian endured a difficult maiden season with the Enstone-based outfit but denies that there was a “light bulb” moment that made him decide to leave for McLaren. 

“There wasn't any moment, which was like a light bulb and said, 'Yes, that's what I need to do', the 30-year-old said.

“Equally, there wasn't something I saw in McLaren which created that or there wasn't something in Renault which created the moment of 'I have to move on.’ The discussions with McLaren go back to even before 2018, and I guess continued over time.”

Replies (2)

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  • He did the right thing.
    He's a very good and gentle guy and he would have no future at Ferrari at the moment.
    The Italians need a "bad" guy as a driver this period (and, of course, a non-Italian team leader).
    Charles is a really bad guy. He has no mercy. Just like Max.
    I believe that we are gonna see extremely tough clashes between Charles and Max in the following years. Even tougher than Prost-Senna, as in that case there was only one bad guy (A. Senna).
    As for Danny's aspirations for a championship, that's a different story.
    After all these years, I still believe he is not of the champion kind.

    • + 0
    • May 29 2020 - 13:04
    • I agree with you on his championship mettle - he's very good but not consistently outstanding. That said, its about being in the right car at the right time - a change to McLaren is a good a bet as any right now ahead of 2021/2022. Let us hope McLaren get through the current financial pressures quickly.

      • + 1
      • May 29 2020 - 13:07

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Driver profile

  • Team McLaren
  • Points 907
  • Podiums 23
  • Grand Prix 122
  • Country Australia
  • Date of b. Jul 1 1989 (31)
  • Place of b. Perth, Australia
  • Weight 64 kg
  • Length 1.75 m
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