Ricciardo didn’t feel ‘poor me’ when Max won the title

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo congratulate one another. Italy September 2021

Max Verstappen puts a hand on Daniel Ricciardo's shoulder as they congratulate one another. Italy September 2021

Daniel Ricciardo has reiterated that he “honestly” does not regret leaving Red Bull despite his former team winning last year’s Drivers’ title.

Ricciardo shocked many, including his then Red Bull team Christian Horner when, on the eve of signing a new contract for the 2019 season, he instead announced he’d be leaving the team for Renault.

But swapping his Red Bull for a Renault works car did not yield the success Ricciardo had hoped for and two years later he was racing a McLaren.

That move did see Ricciardo return to the top step of the podium, the Australian driver taking the win at the Italian Grand Prix ahead of his team-mate Lando Norris.

But while that was Ricciardo’s P1 of the season, his former team-mate Max Verstappen achieved the ultimate P1, winning the Drivers’ Championship title.

With Red Bull expected to once again take on Mercedes for the title this season, Ricciardo was asked – not for the first time – if he had any regrets about leaving Red Bull.

“Honestly, no,” he said at the launch of the MCL36 as per F1i.com.

“I don’t want to say it like, ‘No, I don’t’, like snappy and disrespectful to Red Bull, because they gave me a lot in my career. They really made a lot of this possible for me.

“I was there for five years, but I felt like I did reach a little bit of a point where I really felt like I personally needed something fresh.

“If I was still there maybe I wouldn’t have even been close to fighting for a title, you just don’t know,” he pointed out.

“Of course, 2021 they won the Driver’s title but, if I would have gone another year – 2019, 2020 and then ’21 – I’m not sure if I would have been a better version of myself.

“I needed a bit of a change, and for sure there’s been some struggles through that change, but honestly, I don’t regret those changes I’ve been through, or the move I made at the time.

“That’s all a part of the sport, and obviously learning more about yourself and growing up, but I’ve had no ‘what could have been?’ [thoughts] when I saw Max win the title last year.

“None of those ‘poor me’ feelings. If anything I was happy for them to get back to the top. If it can’t be me then I’m happy for it to be them!”

As for what lies ahead in 2022 with Formula 1’s all-new cars, Ricciardo is hoping there are “good times” for him and his team.

“I kind of look back at last year and am like if I can win in a year where I kind of struggled the most, then anything is possible,” he said.

 

“So that in itself fills me with a lot of confidence and there are lots of things which I’ll hold on to from Monza, to give me everything I need moving forwards.

“So there’s good times ahead.”

 

PlanetF1 Verdict

 

Ricciardo has no Red Bull regrets

Daniel Ricciardo has stated again that he has no regrets about leaving Red Bull.