Daniel Ricciardo confirms Red Bull intention after McLaren exit

Daniel Ricciardo said farewell to racing in F1 – at least for now – following a strong drive at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Australian has endured a nightmare two years at McLaren, where he has been comprehensively outpaced by Lando Norris and has been dropped by the team a year before the end of his contract.

Ricciardo has been linked with third driver roles at both Mercedes and former team Red Bull. At the start of the weekend, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko announced Ricciardo would be rejoining the team, although team principal Christian Horner later said, while that was on the cards, nothing had been signed.

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Ricciardo cleared up the situation after finishing ninth in Abu Dhabi.

“That is the, let’s say, highly likely place for me, that I’ll be at Red Bull,” he told Sky Sports. “I can’t say that 100 per cent until things are signed off.

“That’s certainly what’s closest now. I look forward to that. If it is though, I’m not going to be at 24 races. Otherwise, I may as well be on the grid somewhere. I made it clear [to Red Bull] that I still need some time off to get away a little bit. But I’ll be around to some extent.”

Speaking about Ricciardo’s potential return to the team, Horner said on Saturday: “We have not signed anything yet, but in Helmut’s enthusiasm, he has announced it, so I guess that means Daniel will be joining us unless he chooses not to sign it,” said Horner.

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“Daniel is a big character and it has been disappointing to see his performances this season, but he is still one of the biggest names and biggest characters in Formula One.

“With the demands on the race drivers, from a marketing perspective alone, to have a driver of Daniel’s profile and history with the team within the group is only an asset for us.

“He keeps in touch with Formula One and we will be using him on the simulator and attending some events.”

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