Nico Rosberg’s controversial take on Daniel Ricciardo declaration

Daniel Ricciardo made his return to racing with AlphaTauri last weekend at the Hungarian GP.

2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg is “thrilled” to see Daniel Ricciardo back on the grid, just over six months on since he opted to take a sabbatical.

Ricciardo opted for a sabbatical after his disastrous two-year spell with McLaren came to an end, with Red Bull having been keen to offer the driver a role.

He returned to Red Bull as their development driver, which saw him complete sessions in the simulator.

Red Bull have cut his sabbatical short though by loaning him to sister team AlphaTauri, to replace the fired Nyck de Vries.

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Ricciardo therefore returned to the grid last weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he finished 13th.

He has certainly returned re-energised and raring to go, mostly because he wants to race for Red Bull once again.

Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of 2018 whilst alongside Max Verstappen, with Rosberg believing that the eight-time race winner simply “didn’t feel comfortable” anymore with the Austrians.

“I think he just didn’t feel comfortable in the team anymore,” Rosberg said.

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“There was this rising star in Max Verstappen who was getting more and more support in the team and he just saw an opportunity to go to another team and be the star there and open up a new chapter and that was his decision at the time. I don’t think he would call it a mistake looking back, I’m not sure.”

Following his return though, Rosberg is very happy to see Ricciardo back.

The former Mercedes driver competed against Ricciardo a lot when the Aussie was at Red Bull, with Rosberg admitting that the eight-time race winner is one driver you don’t want in your mirrors.

“We are all thrilled to see him back. He’s such an awesome personality, one of the best wheel-to-wheel racers out there,” Rosberg insisted.

“If I saw him in my rear-view mirrors, that was kind of the last guy I would like to see there at the time – with Max Verstappen – the two of them. So I think it’s great to see him back.”

One thing Ricciardo has made very clear since returning to the grid, is that he wants to move back to Red Bull as soon as possible.

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The Aussie is keen to race for the Austrians again, something which Rosberg wants the AlphaTauri driver to play down a “little bit”.

“The one thing I will say, it’s unnecessary, that Daniel makes it so clear that he is here to get back into the Red Bull Racing team,” Rosberg said.

“It’s unnecessary extra pressure that he has set himself. I would have played that a bit differently and downplayed it a little bit.”