Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his move to Ferrari fell through because “someone said no” to his arrival from Red Bull, leaving him to move to Renault instead.
The Australian was on the market mid-season after turning down a new deal with Red Bull and eventually ended up at Renault despite many expecting his arrival in Marranello.
The move would have made sense, given Ricciardo’s Italian heritage, there being a seat available with Kimi Raikkonen’s departure and Ferrari being a team who could match the 29-year-old’s world-title aspirations.
But it never materialised and while there was speculation he asked for too much money, Ricciardo has now revealed that an unnamed person within the team vetoed his arrival.
“I can’t say why,” he told Automoto when asked if he wanted too much money. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Who said I’d asked for too much money?
“Evidently someone said no when I arrived. Who? I’d like to know, but maybe I have an idea…”
Instead of Ricciardo in the red overalls next season it will be Charles Leclerc, who, despite being one of the most exciting young drivers in the sport, will still present less of an immediate challenge to Sebastian Vettel’s status at Ferrari.
While Ricciardo did not give a name to his suspect, most likely it was Sergio Marchionne, who was pushing for Charles Leclerc’s promotion to the Maranello team before his death earlier this year and reportedly even brokered the deal while he was still CEO.
When pushed further on why his move to Ferrari broke down, Ricciardo was unsure, but hinted the door was open for him to move there in the future – should he decide not to extend his stay at Renault longer than the initial two-year deal.
“Good question,” he added. “Maybe it’s better if you ask them. I talked and discussed, but you see that they had already made arrangements with Leclerc, so mine fell through. That works well and good luck to them as far as I’m concerned. I hope to still have some time in F1 and who knows that in the future there are not opportunities to meet again.” – Daniel Ricciardo concluded.