And Ricciardo, being all too familiar with the cut-throat nature of the sport, has admitted his relief – tinged with surprise – that he has been linked with such a prestigious move to the F1 constructors' champions.
Ricciardo: Red Bull rumours make me smile
“I definitely don’t see it as pressure,” Ricciardo told the media ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when asked about the rumours.
“I think 12 months ago, a lot of the – call it rumour lists, for lack of a better word – were normally negatively directed at me.
“So for me to be in a conversation again, whether it’s a rumour or not about ‘Oh, could you be back in a Red Bull one day?’, 12 months ago, 18 months ago, I never would have thought that would be a conversation.
”Even if it is just a rumour, I just didn’t think a rumour like that would exist.
“I think that just makes me smile. It gives me a lot of encouragement that just through the highs and the lows, the ups and downs, if you stay on the straight and narrow, crazy things can happen.”
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