Daniel Ricciardo admits he made a big mistake while partnering Max Verstappen

Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull in 2018, refusing to sign a contract extension to partner Max Verstappen, choosing instead to join Renault on a two year deal.

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his biggest mistake at Red Bull, as he reflects on his career in Formula 1 during a year off the grid.

Ricciardo joined Red Bull’s junior team, then known as Scuderia Torro Rosso, in the 2012 season, partnering Jean-Eric Vergne, before making the step up to Red Bull in 2014.

He joined Renault in 2018, surprising the Formula 1 paddock by abandoning the rising Red Bull team after just a few seasons. 

The 33-year-old has revealed that his ego was his undoing at Red Bull and, arguably, in his career.

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“Looking back at 2018….It was about me, me, me,” Ricciardo told the Athletic.

“At times, I reacted a little too selfishly to a bad weekend.

Having been dropped unceremoniously by McLaren at the end of the 2022 season, Ricciardo is currently back with his old team during his year off the grid, helping to aid with the development of the RB19 through sim work, as well as participating in media events.

“Now, I’m back with the [Red Bull] team, but I’d say it’s a very selfless role. I’ve got no hidden agenda.”

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“I’m trying to build myself back up.”

There has been speculation that Ricciardo could replace Nico Hulkenberg at Haas next season should the German driver fail to deliver the desired results. 

However, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has played down the possibility of signing the Australian, suggesting a willingness to give Hulkenberg time to settle into the car before making a decision on his future.

Salary could also be a challenge for Ricciardo, as Haas reportedly was unwilling to pay the $10 million fee the Australian was looking for while searching for a seat last year.

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“If I was to get back on the grid, of course the hunger would be filled to the top.

“But it wouldn’t be coming from a place where my ego or pride is getting in the way.

“It’s accepting that it’s not always going to be perfect. It’s just a reality of life.”