Daniel Ricciardo has said that returning to Red Bull would be the “perfect” end to his celebrated Formula 1 career and reveals he’s still hungry to win the World Championship to realise a childhood dream.
Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has had, arguably, one of his most difficult seasons in Formula 1 since making his debut in the sport more than 10 years ago.
The AlphaTauri driver started the season as the reserve driver at AlphaTauri’s sister team Red Bull, in a role typically occupied by rookies looking to make their mark in the world’s premier motorsport, testing the cars for the F1 drivers and supporting the team with commercial opportunities.
Although Ricciardo had offers to race elsewhere, it certainly wasn’t where he wanted to be.
Fast-forward to the end of the season and Daniel Ricciardo looks like a new driver; hungry, determined and focused on a singular goal, the AlphaTauri driver is back in a full-time seat for 2024, but speculation about his long-term future persists with a romantic return to Red Bull the ultimate dream.
“Do I still want to be World Champion? Yes,” Daniel Ricciardo revealed on the F1: Beyond the Grid podcast. Has it been a dream of mine since I was a kid? Yes… But it’s not going to change me as a human, therefore it’s not going to change my life, moving forward.”
Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull Return
Speculation has continued throughout the 2023 season regarding the future of all of Red Bull’s many drivers; Sergio Pérez, who even after securing a respectable 2nd in the Drivers’ to secure an overall 1-2 for Red Bull, still has question marks over his future.
Daniel Ricciardo and, to an extent, Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda, are also in the conversation for the seemingly endless game of Red Bull/AlphaTauri musical chairs, with the former openly seeking a return to the team where he made his name.
“I think coming back into it [Formula 1], and jumping back into the Red Bull family, doing tests in July, getting back working with Simon again, that’s really the dream,” Ricciardo continued. “Honestly to end my career as a Red Bull driver would be perfect. And I say end, not that I’m looking at the end, but if I got back there, then I’ll certainly make sure I finish there.”
Daniel Ricciardo has never closed the door on a fairytale return to Red Bull, with some reports even suggesting he has a clause that would see him return following the conclusion of Pérez’s contract after the 2024 season.
The Australian driver’s latest comments will certainly set tongues wagging throughout the Formula 1 community, and it could be a case of when, not if, we see the Honey Badger back in Red Bull colours again.