Mark Webber reveals what he told Daniel Ricciardo about quitting Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo last drove for Red Bull's sister team in 2013, prior to replacing Mark Webber at the main outfit.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber is pleased to see Daniel Ricciardo return to the grid this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, following his abrupted sabbatical.

It was announced last Tuesday that Ricciardo will be replacing rookie Nyck de Vries for the remainder of the 2023 season at AlphaTauri, due to a lack of improvement by the Dutchman.

Red Bull have loaned their development driver to the Faenza-based team as a result, with it set to be Ricciardo’s first time driving for the sister team since 2013.

Ricciardo actually replaced his fellow Australian at Red Bull in 2014, before moving to Renault in 2019.

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He went on to spend two seasons with the Enstone-based team before enduring his miserable two-year spell at McLaren, which led to his recent sabbatical.

Webber insists that he never wanted the fan favourite to leave Red Bull in the first place and that he tried to talk Ricciardo “into staying” back in 2018.

Ahead of his return, Webber notes that the “stopwatch never lies”, with Ricciardo needing to defeat team-mate Yuki Tsunoda “pretty quickly”.

“I was keen for him to stay in Red Bull,” Webber told ITV. “I think he knows that all those years ago I was trying to talk him into staying.

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“But, obviously, he was keen to go to Renault at the time and then he went to McLaren.

“He’s had a year out and now he’s back.

“The stopwatch never lies, you’re either giving pressure or you’re taking pressure.

“So now he’s back on the grid and obviously, he’s got to step up against (teammate) Yuki (Tsunoda) pretty quickly and hopefully he can perform well.”

Ricciardo’s switch was announced after the Aussie completed a successful Pirelli tyre test for Red Bull.

Ex-Red Bull driver and four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel was seen with the driver at the test, with the German having since added that he’s “very happy” to see his former team-mate return.

“I’m very happy for Daniel, very happy,” Vettel said.

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“I like him, obviously, I raced with him, and I met him at the test when I was shaking down the [1993] McLaren for this weekend. “And I’m very, very happy for him.

“On the other hand, you have to be honest as well. It’s obviously a shame for Nyck, the way it comes to an end. I think he was given a great chance.

“Maybe things didn’t happen for him the way he expected, or people expected. But it’s also a bit harsh when it comes to a very sudden stop like that. It’s brutal.”