Guenther Steiner had 10 million reasons to reject Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has returned to Red Bull for 2023, in a behind-the-scenes role as a development driver.

With the 2023 season just under two weeks away, a noticeable figure won’t be lining up on the grid.

After an abysmal 2022 campaign, Daniel Ricciardo opted to take a sabbatical from the forthcoming season, with the target being to return in 2024.

The Aussie struggled for the bulk of his two years at McLaren alongside Lando Norris, with the fan favourite’s star performance being, of course, his victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

Following his poor results, the Woking-based team opted to terminate Ricciardo’s 2023 contract, in order to allow fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri to join the team.

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Despite his contract being terminated, Ricciardo did have an option on the grid for 2023, prior to deciding that he wanted a year away from the sport.

Before Nico Hulkenberg was announced as Mick Schumacher’s replacement at Haas, the 33-year-old had been heavily linked to a move to the Americans, although, nothing materialised in the end.

Ahead of the new season, though, it has been revealed why Ricciardo didn’t switch to Haas, following a recent trailer for season five of Formula 1-based Netflix docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’.

“So Ricciardo?” Haas driver Kevin Magnussen asks team principal Guenther Steiner in the trailer. 

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And the boss replies: “We can’t afford it. He wants ten million, minimum.”

Ricciardo’s wage, then, was clearly the biggest issue regarding a potential move to Haas, with the Americans certainly not being the richest team on the grid.

Steiner told reporters last season that he couldn’t understand Ricciardo’s reluctance to join the Americans, given their improvement during 2022.

“I don’t know why he doesn’t want to run with us. Ask him,” Steiner said.

Ricciardo’s ‘settlement’ fee from McLaren is speculated to be another reason why he disregarded a move to Haas and opted to move back to Red Bull as a development driver, due to a clause in the agreement.

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Supposedly, Ricciardo wouldn’t have received a payment from McLaren if he joined another midfield team for the forthcoming season, hence his return home.

Red Bull is regarded as the Aussie’s F1 home given that he joined the Austrians during his junior career, with Ricciardo having been a successful part of the Red Bull Junior Team.

Seven of his eight victories at the pinnacle of motorsport came whilst racing for Red Bull from 2014-2018, with it arguably being the team he performed best at.