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Ricciardo explains Red Bull lure after Mercedes talks

Ricciardo explains Red Bull lure after Mercedes talks

F1 News

Ricciardo explains Red Bull lure after Mercedes talks

Ricciardo explains Red Bull lure after Mercedes talks

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed why he opted for a return to Red Bull despite holding discussions with Mercedes over becoming the team's reserve driver for the 2023 F1 season.

Ricciardo's axe from McLaren despite a year remaining on a three-season deal led to the Australian being linked with numerous opportunities, including drives with Haas and Williams, as well as the third driver role with Mercedes.

The 33-year-old had conversations with team principal Toto Wolff, only for Red Bull to step in at the right time for the experienced driver who will predominantly conduct sim work for the team he previously raced with from 2014-18.

“There were talks with Mercedes," said Ricciardo, speaking on the Australian Grand Prix's 'In the Fast Lane' podcast. "I was appreciative of their engagement because there was certainly an appetite for that.

“[But] It kind of stalled a little bit, and then the Red Bull stuff started to make more and more sense and that had more and more legs, and then it kind of naturally progressed as it did.

“There was a part of me as well where, when I was at Red Bull, Mercedes was always the team. Of course, they were dominating. It was a team I was looking at.

“I had some conversations with them back in the day, and to have a few more now was nice. Again, it was nice just to still be valued by some top teams after the couple of years I’ve had."

Ricciardo concedes he recognised Red Bull could offer him something Mercedes could not.

"I also thought I was more like 'Look, I've obviously jumped around a bit the last few years and maybe a bit of familiarity would be good for me', just to go back and work with people I've worked with before," added Ricciardo.

"I appreciate the cars have changed now but a car I gelled very well with, going to do the sim work and this is the environment that would kind of settle me and make me figure out the next step beyond this and what I really want after 23."

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