Daniel Ricciardo has been reflecting on his career this week as Red Bull boss Christian Horner suggested the Australian made a bad decision to leave his team in 2018. The Red Bull Team Principal claimed last week that Ricciardo showcased “spectacularly bad timing” when he declined a “stratospheric offer” to remain with his team in 2018. Ricciardo has responded this week, telling the Herald Sun: “Obviously I would love to win a title with McLaren and then kind of say, ‘I told you so,’ or whatever. “But I appreciate until that happens then there will probably be that narrative [of bad timing] with a lot of people.”
Ricciardo’s career has divided opinion – he has shown unquestionable pace throughout his time in the sport, but has struggled to consistently take on the very best opponents.
In fact, Ricciardo once said that he isn’t even sure he would choose the sport as a career path again if he could go back in time.
Speaking in June last year on the Pardon my Take podcast, the Australian explained: “One thing with our sport and, as much as I love it and obviously made a career out of it.
“If I could do it all over again, I don’t know if I would pick this sport, because there are so many other variables and, so much out of your control. You know you could like perform perfectly and something might end up for you.
“But then, I think that makes the high so high. When it all does work and gel together and win or get a podium, it’s huge.”
Ricciardo’s time at McLaren hasn’t done much to deter his critics.
Last season he struggled for pace while teammate Lando Norris was competing for podiums.
Aside from Ricciardo’s surprise win in a McLaren one-two at Monza, many felt his second season in the papaya orange would be crucial.
But his fortunes haven’t improved. McLaren look much slower this season, and Ricciardo even failed to get out of Q1 in Bahrain last month.
Last week, Ricciardo said he is preparing for a long wait before McLaren are competitive again.
Asked by Autosport if he was prepared for a long slog, Ricciardo said: “Yeah, I think so – and I think you have to mentally.
READ MORE: Daniel Ricciardo would love to say ‘I told you so’ to Red Bull
Speaking about his home grand prix this week, he said: “It’s always been pretty wild here so there’s no denying that.
“I don’t recall ever competing at a quiet home race – I think it’s always been pretty good, and the reception’s always been there – but it felt like it was turned up a notch or two, or three…”
“Obviously we’ll see now the crowds coming more and more over the weekend but for a Thursday, I’m talking about around the world, it was the busiest Thursday I’ve experienced walking around a paddock.
“I think everyone’s just stoked to have the race back here; there’s a lot of motorsport enthusiasts and you feel that.”