Ricciardo: Loyalty only goes so far

Date published: February 29 2016

Although Daniel Ricciardo wants to win his first Drivers’ title with Red Bull, he admits he won’t hang around for the ten years waiting for it to happen.

Ricciardo had his first taste of Red Bull machinery when he tested for the team in 2009 and since then has been involved in the energy drink family with Red Bull helping secure his first F1 drive with HRT.

From there he raced for junior team Toro Rosso before stepping up Red Bull in 2014. However his arrival coincided with F1’s swap to V6 engines and the team’s subsequent fall from grace.

Facing what many believe could be another difficult season with Red Bull, who for 2016 will continue with Renault with the engines rebranded as TAG Heuer, Ricciardo admits his loyalty to the team will only go so far.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “It’s one of those ones. Of course there’s loyalty and that’s a big one and, sure, if I could choose any team that I want to win my first World title with, then it’s Red Bull.”

“But, he added, “at the same time, I don’t want to spend 10 years in the sport being loyal and not getting any championship from it, so you’ve obviously got to balance it.”

One rival team that Ricciardo has been linked to in the past is Ferrari.

Last year he was briefly linked to Kimi Raikkonen’s race-seat when the Scuderia considered replacing the under-fire Finn. In the end Ferrari opted to retain Raikkonen for a further season.

Questioned about whether he would ever give into the allure that is Ferrari, Ricciardo said: “I think it’s one that got asked last year, obviously, there was my name thrown around with a few others when they [Ferrari] were looking.

“Sure, you want to put yourself in a winning car at some point and have a chance. Whether one day that is Ferrari I don’t know.

“I mean, obviously I won’t lie. I’m sure at least 90 per cent of drivers, at least if not now, they followed Ferrari as a kid because, in a way, that is what we knew Formula One as.”

He added: “It’s interesting, but it’s only interesting if they have got the best car.”