Daniel Ricciardo has claimed he has no regrets over leaving Red Bull in 2018 despite his career since stalling.
The Australian was one of the highest-rated talents on the F1 grid during his time at Red Bull, with his aggressive overtakes characterising his on-track demeanour.
But in the four years since parting ways from the team, Ricciardo has scored just one further win. Next year, he will drop off the grid entirely.
Asked if on reflection he regretted leaving Red Bull, Ricciardo said: “I don’t.
"The truth is that I don’t regret it because even though, and people could say that my career didn’t work out after Red Bull, and I get it from that point of view that it looks like it has failed, but I know the way I was feeling that I needed to try.
"I needed to move on.
“Obviously, I haven’t won world championships or anything since leaving Red Bull, but I feel like in myself and the things that I’ve learned and gone through since all of that, I still feel better for it.
“[In] 2024, there are absolutely no guarantees, but I truly feel that if I was somehow able to land a top seat again, I would just be better off. I think I would thrive in that position."
Why Ricciardo left Red Bull
Ricciardo came out on top in his 2014 battle with Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull and was equally successful against Daniil Kvyat the following year.
But things changed early in 2016 when Max Verstappen was promoted from Toro Rosso ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. The Dutchman scored a victory in his first outing with the team and the battle lines were clearly drawn.
Reflecting on his final season with Red Bull in 2018, the 33-year-old conceded: “I probably get a little bit deep in [saying] everything happens for a reason.
"And I do feel that I needed to break away a little bit from my shell at the time, even if the results on paper haven’t been maybe what they would have been if I had stayed.
“But I think in 2018, I was watching some season highlights a few days ago and I had eight or nine DNFs. It was a brutal season, especially with the way it had started with two wins in the first six races.
“It was then a horror season for me. So although I was with a great team at the time, the energy inside, I was pretty down.
“So I felt that going back to that moment and how I felt, it was the right thing for me to do, even if on paper you could say ‘You should never have left’.”