'Weird as f***': Daniel Ricciardo's shock reveal about former F1 team

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·Sports Editor
·3-min read
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Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here in action for McLaren in F1.
Daniel Ricciardo has lifted the lid on Christian Horner's 'weird' relationship with Max Verstappen. Image: Getty

Daniel Ricciardo has lifted the lid on the "weird" relationship at Red Bull between Max Verstappen and team principal Christian Horner.

Ricciardo drove for Horner at Red Bull from 2014 to 2018 before leaving in unceremonious fashion ahead of the 2019 season.

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Many have always believed that Ricciardo didn't want to play second fiddle to Verstappen when it became clear that the Dutch driver had overtaken him as the team's No.1 man.

The relationship between Ricciardo and his former team continues to be a source of interest among F1 fans, and Ricciardo has now provided even more fodder.

The Aussie driver revealed in a podcast this week how close Horner and Verstappen have grown.

“It’s weird as f***,” Ricciardo said on the Pardon My Take podcast.

“So like he was his best man at his wedding. Godfather to his children. He even moved into the farmhouse next door, so it was getting a lot.”

Ricciardo provided more insight into his decision to leave Red Bull for Renault in 2019, before moving to McLaren ahead of the 2021 season.

“So at the time the Red Bull to Renault thing, a lot of people couldn’t understand it,” he said.

“So I was downgrading, if you want to call it that. But I felt like at Red Bull I kind of reached my limit.

"I’d been with the team for so long and I knew everyone. I was like I’m not sure I’m really going to put in any more effort into this if I keep going.

“It doesn’t really sound right, but basically I was worried I was going to get complacent. Just sort of seeing the same people every day. I wanted a new challenge. And I also felt like Renault was an up-and-comer.”

Christian Horner, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, pictured here at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2016.
Christian Horner, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2016. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Red Bull 'still haven't forgiven' Daniel Ricciardo

Speaking earlier this year, Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz said Red Bull management still haven't fully forgiven Ricciardo for joining their arch-rivals.

Red Bull had a seat vacant ahead of the 2021 season, but never seriously considered bringing Ricciardo back, signing Sergio Perez instead.

"It looked like Red Bull weren't going to go back to Daniel Ricciardo, or maybe they just hadn't thought of it," Kravitz said on the In the Fast Lane podcast.

"I think they're still annoyed really, (about) the way he left them actually.

"I think Helmut Marko hasn't really forgiven him, for disappearing off to Renault of all people, which was kind of the final insult.

"If you're going to leave us, OK, but don't leave us for Renault, our dreaded rivals and ex-engine partners."

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Meanwhile, Verstappen set the pace in the second practice session for the French Grand Prix on Friday.

The F1 championship leader placed narrowly ahead of Valtteri Bottas and his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France.

After damaging a part of his front wing early in the afternoon session, Verstappen found the pace to finish in one minute 32.872 seconds, only 0.008sec ahead of Bottas and 0.253 clear of Hamilton - the defending F1 champion.

Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso was an impressive fourth for the French-owned Alpine team (formerly Renault), while Charles Leclerc finished fifth for Ferrari.

Ricciardo was 14th in his McLaren in the second practice session after finishing sixth in the morning session.

with AAP

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