Daniel Ricciardo ignores Red Bull ‘big picture’ as lofty RB target revealed

Sam Cooper
Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo is hoping to hit the ground running with RB.

Daniel Ricciardo said he is not focused on his dream of ending his career at Red Bull as he prepares for the new season with RB.

The Australian returned to the Red Bull fold last year first as a third driver before moving to AlphaTauri and taking Nyck de Vries’ former seat.

Now, he is the face of the newly rebranded RB team and is solely focused on their exploits rather than any long-term career moves.

Daniel Ricciardo ignoring Red Bull possibility to focus on RB

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Ricciardo is thought by many to be one step away from returning to the Red Bull seat he left in 2018 with Sergio Perez likely to face similar levels of pressure to last season should his performances not improve in 2024.

But for now, the 34-year-old Australian is solely focused on trying to push RB up the grid.

“I think it’s kind of the big picture,” he told media including PlanetF1.com of his dream to end at Red Bull. “Sitting here now, at the start of a new season, it’s not something on my mind. It’s respect to where I currently am as well and a long season ahead.

“I think the way I get back to the front of the grid is to try and hustle this car as hard as possible and produce weekends like Mexico and obviously do that more consistently. Then we’ll see what happens.

PlanetF1.com recommends

The 12 drivers out of contract at the end of the F1 2024 season

F1 points all-time rankings: Where do Hamilton, Verstappen and Alonso feature?

“But sitting here now, it’s fully focused on where I’m at. Trying to just establish myself again. I feel like I started to do that a little bit last year coming back into the sport but there’s a lot of races this year to try and do that and prove it to myself.”

As for where RB could be challenging this year, he did not rule out podiums as a goal for later in the season.

“I’d love to say yes,” he said of a potential top-four fight. “But the truth is we’re trying to certainly build something right now. I think this is the year when a team really tries to establish themselves and kind of stand on their own two feet.

“And then try to establish a fight towards the front of the midfield. I think podiums are a little bit of a, probably a wish, at the moment, more than maybe a reality but as the year goes on, I think we will progress then, hopefully challenge closer to the front.”

Read next: F1 2024 testing LIVE: Follow all the latest updates from Day 1 in Bahrain