Daniel Ricciardo insists things ‘would be different’ if he returned to Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo has expressed his intent on moving back to race for Red Bull in the future.

Daniel Ricciardo has insisted that things “would be different” if he returned to Red Bull to partner Max Verstappen, having left the Austrians whilst partnered with the Dutchman at the end of 2018.

Ricciardo returned to the Red Bull family at the start of this season as their development driver, after leaving them for Renault initially at the end of 2018.

It was believed that he departed the leading side due to feeling like Verstappen was receiving preferential treatment, making him want to try and make his mark elsewhere.

Leaving Red Bull in many ways ended his chances of becoming a World Champion, as Renault nor McLaren were in a position to offer him a package which could compete consistently at the front.

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However, the 34-year-old himself wasn’t in a state of mind to be racing at the front, resulting in his sabbatical this season.

He felt like returning to Red Bull was the best place to undergo his sabbatical and try to reignite his love for racing.

Being back at the side he refers to as ‘home’ has rejuvenated the Australian, who returned to the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix at AlphaTauri to replace Nyck de Vries.

The fan favourite has even been given a full-time seat at the sister team for 2024, although he’s openly admitted that his goal is to return to a full-time Red Bull seat.

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Even team principal Christian Horner is aware of this, with many believing that the eight-time race winner is the likely candidate to replace Sergio Perez when his contract expires at the end of 2025.

Should it happen, then it’d mark the first time that a driver has left Red Bull and then later returned, with Ricciardo being confident that the team dynamic and his relationship with Verstappen would be “very different” this time around.

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“It would be different,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1. “I think it’d be very different just from probably where we are both at in our career.

“And I always stand by saying like, I don’t regret anything. And at the time, of course, with everything that was going on, that was what I felt was the best situation for me.

“But I would say, look, am I happy to be back? And am I happy to be back in that environment with the people that let’s say got me here? Absolutely.

“Things are different.”