‘There was no need for that anymore!’ Daniel Ricciardo opens up on relationship with Helmut Marko

Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of 2018 after five years with the Austrian team.

Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko has made a reputation for himself by being extremely hard on his drivers over the years, and Daniel Ricciardo was no exception.

The Australian was promoted from Toro Rosso to replace the departing Mark Webber for the 2014 season, and Sebastian Vettel had a new Australian to contend with after sharing a frosty relationship with the nine-time race winner.

Ricciardo showed exceptional pace in the first season of the hybrid era, out-performing the four-time world champion and ending third in the Drivers’ Standings behind the Mercedes pair of Sir Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with three wins.

The 33-year-old spent a season alongside Daniil Kvyat, whom he out-qualified 12 times but finished behind in the standings, and looked set to complete the 2016 season with the Russian too, before the emergence of one Max Verstappen.

READ: Lando Norris reacts to Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles amid uncertain future

The Dutchman out-qualified Ricciardo 34 times in 58 races, and took five wins during their time together as he finished comfortably ahead in the standings in 2018.

The Australian would eventually call it a day at the Milton Keynes side at the end of that year, which included the controversial clash in Baku, and he has since been trying to find his feet at McLaren having spent two seasons with Renault.

In the end, he might well have been better off sticking with Renault as they embarked on their Alpine project but, alas, he has been faced with a McLaren car that simply does not suit him, and Lando Norris has fairly comprehensively outpaced him.

However, this is not something that Dr Marko throws in Ricciardo’s face, as there is a great deal of mutual respect between the pair, although after years of stick from the Austrian, they are not about to sit down together and chat about his Red Bull departure.

Article continues below

“Helmut gave me a lot of s*** over the years, so didn’t need to sit down… after I left there was no need for that anymore!” joked Ricciardo.

“I would say that obviously, I have less interactions with Helmut these days but of course, I would say the relationship is still the same. 

READ: McLaren give honest verdict on Colton Herta’s first-ever Formula 1 test

“It’s very honest, very Helmut, my admiration or respect for the man has remained unchanged – he’s a good guy.

“So, no, ‘I told you so’, that’s part of the sport and we’ll move on.”

Ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, Dr Marko wrote about Ricciardo, among others, in the Red Bulletin, and while there was never anything wrong with the eight-time race winner’s raw pace, he did not have the consistency to beat Verstappen.

“In his first year at Red Bull, he beat Vettel by three wins to nil,” he explained.

“Max coming on the scene was at a crunch point in his career. Rather than taking up the fight, [Ricciardo] wanted to keep his distance, and you know what happened next. 

“That’s too bad, he was always nice to work with.

“His speed is comparable to that of Max, but he’s just lacking that ultimate consistency.”

Ricciardo’s win in Monza last season with McLaren is also the only podium he has achieved with the Woking-based side.