Red Bull development driver Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that racing for the Austrians in the future would the “fairytale ending” to his Formula 1 career, as he sets his sights on a return to the grid.
Ricciardo accepted a behind-the-scenes role at Red Bull for 2023 after enduring two miserable seasons at McLaren, where he partnered Lando Norris.
For the majority of his time at the Woking-based team, Ricciardo was unhappy and underperforming, something which resulted in his contract for this season being terminated.
His McLaren highlight is, of course, his sensational victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, which saw the Aussie return to winning ways for the first time since winning the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix for Red Bull.
The best days of Ricciardo’s F1 career have come whilst driving for Red Bull, a side he competed for from 2014-2018.
He replaced fellow Australian Mark Webber for the 2014 season, following his retirement from the sport.
Ricciardo went on to cement himself as Red Bull’s lead driver, when Sebastian Vettel moved to Ferrari.
Max Verstappen’s arrival in 2016 seemingly changed things though, with it having become clear very quickly that the Milton Keynes-based team had high hopes for the Dutchman.
Verstappen being prioritised somewhat led to Ricciardo leaving the Austrians, despite the fact the pair remain friends.
There is certainly no bad blood between the team and Ricciardo, given that he felt comfortable enough to return.
Being back at Red Bull has clearly made Ricciardo realise how badly he wants to get back to racing, something he wants to do next season.
According to a report by ESPN, he’d even be open to racing for Red Bull’s sister side AlphaTauri, if Nyck de Vries is sacked.
Junior driver Liam Lawson is the favourite to get the Dutchman’s seat; however, Ricciardo clearly has his eyes set on racing for the Red Bull brand once again.
He wouldn’t be able to drive for the main team until 2025 at the earliest, with Sergio Perez having a contract for next season.
Regardless, the 33-year-old views racing for Red Bull again as the perfect way to end his career.
“This for me would be like the fairytale,” Ricciardo told ESPN.
“Honestly, the fairytale ending [would be] to finish my career here if I could have it all my own way, but we’ll see.
“I’ll probably have to work my way up a little bit but it’s really nice to be back here.”