Zak Brown admits McLaren could sign Daniel Ricciardo again

Daniel Ricciardo will return to Red Bull to serve as the team’s third driver in 2023, following his departure from McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo’s career since the Australian decided to leave Red Bull is a sad one, with spells at Renault and now McLaren not living up to expectations.

The 33-year-old had grown frustrated with Red Bull’s decision to prioritise a young Max Verstappen over him, as the energy drink giants clearly saw the Dutchman as the future of the team.

Ricciardo’s career at McLaren never really got going unfortunately for him, as the Australian was beaten by his teammate Lando Norris in both seasons, and was often seen struggling to make it out of Q1 while Norris became a Q3 regular.

A shock victory in Monza proved to be a false dawn for the McLaren driver, as he soon slipped back into his below par performances following one of the best weekends of his career so far.

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Everybody at McLaren has made it very clear that there are no hard feelings between themselves and Ricciardo, having tried everything to make it work with the fan favourite, and CEO Zak Brown has now claimed that a return to the team is not off the table for him.

“It is tough, we all love Daniel, such a great spirit in the garage and on the radio and at the MTC, but sometimes things don’t work out,” said Brown.

“It is kind of the great mystery. He definitely has the talent. He showed us in Monza – not because everyone got wiped out, he took the lead and he was gone – and he has won eight Grand Prix.

“So frustrating for all of us but the memory of Monza, to date, is my favourite memory in 30 years of motorsport and I have got to thank Daniel for that.

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“I very much hope to see him on the grid again in F1, which is his desire, and the door remains open for him to be in some McLaren in the future again if the stars align. I would love to go racing again.”

Ricciardo will spend 2023 working back at Red Bull as the team’s third driver, as he seeks to keep himself relevant in F1 while he waits for an opportunity at a top team to open up for him in the future.

With all Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers tied down to long term contracts, it remains to be seen where Ricciardo will end up if he does make a return to the grid, but the majority of fans will be hoping that Abu Dhabi was not the last time that Ricciardo will be seen on the F1 grid.