'Wasn't my dream': The Daniel Ricciardo F1 move that never was

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Daniel Ricciardo says he had some preliminary discussions about joining Ferrari, before ultimately settling on McLaren for the 2021 season. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo says he had some preliminary discussions about joining Ferrari, before ultimately settling on McLaren for the 2021 season. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo's switch to McLaren for the 2021 season was seen by many as a perfect union of driver and team - but the affable Australian star has revealed it might never have come to pass.

Though the early stages of Ricciardo's turn with McLaren haven't produced anything like the glittering results he's accustomed to as of yet, the West Australian remains adamant he can turn it around.

SEACHANGE: Wife's $4.4 million move amid Michael Schumacher health mystery

'REMARKABLE MAN': Tributes roll in for former F1 boss Max Mosley

An interesting comparison has been drawn between Ricciardo and former McLaren driver Carlos Sainz, whose own move to Ferrari opened the door for Ricciardo to take his place.

Sainz put together an impressive weekend in Monaco last round, finishing second and almost matching teammate and polesitter Charles Leclerc for pace around the principality.

In an interview with ESPN, Ricciardo revealed it could have been him behind the wheel of the iconic red Ferrari after there was some mutual interest in him joining the Italian team.

“There was a bit of phone calls but even then it never got to details: numbers, years,” he said.

“But would we have been a good fit? Yeah, I think so, but I didn’t have blinkers on for it.

“Sure, it would have been a nice story to tell.”

Ricciardo's own Italian heritage would have been a selling point for the iconic manufacturer, with his father Joe born in Sicily.

However, by his own admission, the Ricciardo family wasn't as much fans of Ferrari as they were iconic driver Ayrton Senna, who most notably won world championships with McLaren and Williams in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“I had a little bit of Ferrari merchandise, but it wasn’t my dream to race for them,” Ricciardo said. 

“My dream was always to get into Formula One.”

Teammate fumes over Daniel Ricciardo 'nonsense'

McLaren's Lando Norris has angrily hit back at suggestions he targeted teammate Ricciardo in a controversial incident at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Norris stormed to third place for his second podium finish of the season, while Ricciardo ended up in a lowly 12th place.

Ricciardo also suffered the ultimate humiliation of being lapped by his McLaren teammate to complete his nightmare weekend in Monaco.

And to make matters worse for the Aussie driver, Norris was spotted shooting his teammate a cheeky wave as he moved past him.

“I have a tear in my eye here for Daniel Ricciardo,” Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle said.

“That’s an ouch moment isn’t it. It hurts for Daniel Ricciardo.”

Lando Norris rejected suggestions he was mocking teammate Daniel Ricciardo when he waved has he lapped his teammate during the Monaco GP. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Lando Norris rejected suggestions he was mocking teammate Daniel Ricciardo when he waved has he lapped his teammate during the Monaco GP. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

The incident didn't go unnoticed by fans who took to social media to insist Norris' gesture rubbed salt into the wounds for Ricciardo.

However, the Brit has now fired back at suggestions he was poking fun at the Aussie, insisting such claims from F1 fans are "absolute crap".

The incident in question saw Ricciardo shown the blue flag, forcing the Aussie to let Norris pass him.

The 21-year-old Brit insists the wave to his teammate was a sign of courtesy and nothing more.

“Alright, so I see so many of you make up absolute c**p and nonsense as usual," Norris said on Twitch.

“By the way, any time someone lets me pass for a blue flag, anyone, if they get out of the way properly and they should, I put my hand up and say thanks, alright?”

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.