Max Verstappen makes claim about Daniel Ricciardo’s time at Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo will spend 2023 serving as Red Bull’s third driver after his departure from McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo will be completing his Formula 1 loop in 2023, as he returns to the team which saw him explode into the spotlight in his early F1 career.

The Australian has not had the career that he would have wanted since he made the bold decision to leave Red Bull, with spells at Renault and McLaren ultimately ending in failure.

Ricciardo will be reunited with Max Verstappen upon his return to Red Bull, a driver which he shared a turbulent relationship with during his first spell with the team.

Initially the Australian formed a strong bond with young Verstappen, with the pair often being seen laughing and joking around race weekends, however as it became apparent that Red Bull saw the Dutchman as their long term star driver, the relationship began to break down.

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The pair clashed on numerous occasions, most notably in Baku when both drivers refused to give up a position and ended up crashing out of the race in spectacular fashion.

Verstappen has now spoken about his former teammate’s return to the team, suggesting that he believes Ricciardo cut his Red Bull career too short, but understands his decision.

“It would have been better for Daniel if he had stayed longer at Red Bull at the time,” he suggested.

“I did talk to him about it. It’s also about feeling comfortable somewhere. That was no longer the case at one point.

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“Then you have to look at alternatives and make the trade-off between sporting success and feeling good somewhere.

“However, I do know everyone at Red Bull had his best interests at heart. Instead of leaving, he could have talked to the team about it. But it turned out the way it did.”

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Ricciardo has been outperformed by his McLaren teammate Lando Norris in both his seasons with the team, which led Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl to make a change and bring in Oscar Piastri for 2023.

In Ricciardo’s defence, the McLaren is commonly known to be one of the most difficult cars on the grid to master, with it behaving in a unique way that requires a certain driving style that obviously suits Norris more than Ricciardo.

The 33-year-old has said that he hopes Abu Dhabi was not his last race in Formula 1, as his new role at Red Bull is just to keep him involved in the sport while he waits for an opportunity to open up at a top team for him to return to the grid.