In an interview with Motorsport.com Budkowski said: “We would have loved him to drive the car in Abu Dhabi but we couldn’t make that happen.
“We’re disappointed that we couldn’t get his feedback on last year’s car because it would have been very useful to us.
“The fact it didn’t happen, without pointing fingers, is quite flattering to us because it means other people are afraid of us and don’t want to give us anything that could be a competitive advantage.”
Ricciardo has won seven Grand Prix’s, two in 2018 and Budkowski believes he’s a born winner.
“He [Ricciardo] is a race winner,” added the team executive.
“He is bringing us an experience that we don’t have in the team today.”