Red Bull Content Pool

F1 News

Verstappen: 'It would have been better if Ricciardo had stayed at Red Bull'

Verstappen: 'It would have been better if Ricciardo had stayed at Red Bull'

25-11-2022 15:30 Last update: 22:30

Red Bull Racing announced on Wednesday that Daniel Ricciardo will return as the team's third driver in 2023. Max Verstappen welcomes his old teammate back, but the two-time world champion thinks the Australian should never have left Red Bull in the first place.

Ricciardo's choice to leave Red Bull in 2018 for Renault's team came as a big surprise to everyone. After two reasonably successful years with the French team with two podium finishes, the Australian made the switch to McLaren. That partnership did not go as expected, with Ricciardo leaving the British racing team early after two years. Apart from a win at Monza, the McLaren driver failed to deliver the desired results.

Next year, Ricciardo will no longer have a full-time seat in Formula 1, but he will still be seen in the F1 paddock as Red Bull's ambassador and third driver. Speaking to, Verstappen reveals that he thinks it is great that the sport will not have to miss Ricciardo for the time being, but the Dutchman also knows that an F1 driver is only as good as his last race.

Ricciardo was no longer in his right mind

"It would have been better for Daniel if he had stayed longer at Red Bull at the time", Verstappen says in the interview. In his first years with the team, the Dutchman and Ricciardo were evenly matched, but ultimately, in his final year with Red Bull, the Australian was beaten by his teammate.

Verstappen reveals that he had spoken to Ricciardo about the situation at Red Bull in 2018. The 33-year-old driver was no longer comfortable. "Instead of leaving, he could have talked to the team about it. But it turned out the way it did", Verstappen says. According to the Dutchman, Red Bull had Ricciardo's best interests at heart.