F1 executive slams Daniel Ricciardo for putting money before a shot at world championship glory when he signed megabucks deals with Renault and McLaren
Daniel Ricciardo only has himself to blame for the downturn taken by his career, according to a former Formula 1 executive who accused the Australian of putting money ahead of success.
The eight-time Grand Prix winner signed a deal with Red BullÂ to be their reserve driver next year after his spell at McLaren came to an end after two disappointing seasons.
The British team reportedly agreed a $14million payout with Ricciardo to part ways with him 12 months earlier than anticipated and replace him with fellow Australian Oscar Piastri.Â
Ricciardo’s return to Red Bull next season comes four years after he surprisingly left the team to join Renault on a two-year deal reportedly worth of $35million-a-season.
Daniel Ricciardo has left McLaren at the end of the season to be Red Bull’s reserve driver
But former Jordan, Red Bull and Cosworth executive Mark Gallagher revealed sources close to the Austrian team believed Ricciardo prioritise a lucrative deal over a competitive car.
‘Heâs just had this slightly turbulent time, really, since he left Red Bull Racing,’ he said to GP Racing Magazine.
‘Someone close to Daniel, close to Red Bull, said to me not long afterwards: “He has cashed in, he has taken the money, heâs gone for the big paycheck because he knows the World Championship is not going to come to him.Â
‘”Itâs certainly not going to come to him at Red Bull because Max [Verstappen] is the number one. Actually, he knows itâs not going to come to him at Renault but [then-Renault team boss] Cyril Abiteboul is going to pay him a massive amount of money.”‘
Ricciardo won seven races in five years with Red Bull before a surprising move to Renault
The Australian signed two-year deal with the French team worth north of $35million-a-season
Ricciardo won seven races in five years with Red Bull, before leaving at the end of the 2018 season after being relegated to the role of second driver behind the emerging Max Verstappen.Â
His switch to Renault returned just two podium finishes in two seasons, before a move to McLaren delivered similarly unimpressive results, even though Ricciardo ended the team’s nine-year wait for a win at the Italian Grand Prix in 2021.
Gallagher, however, conceded it would have been hard for the Australian to turn down Renault’s offer.
But Ricciardo secured just two podium finishes in two difficult seasons with RenaultÂ
The Aussie’s win at the 2021 Italian GP was the sole highlight of two dismal years at McLaren
‘Why would you not take it? Because when youâre getting into your 30s and you realise that that World Championship prospect is diminishing, take the big money,’ he said.
‘Why wouldnât you? Because thatâs going to set you up forever in a day.
‘Not only did he manage to get that big offer and then deliver the podium result that he and Cyril had talked about, he then got lured to McLaren with another big paycheck.
‘And of course, again, why wouldnât he take that? But itâs been a very different experience at McLaren.’