Current McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he held contract talks with Scuderia Ferrari but confirmed the conversations were never serious enough to discuss financial numbers or contract length. Seven-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo moved from Red Bull to Renault in 2019 and from Renault to McLaren at the start of 2021.
On both occasions his name was linked to Ferrari, but the Italian team ended up signing Charles Leclerc in 2019 and Carlos Sainz in 2021.
Asked what happened during the contract talks in an interview with ESPN, Daniel Ricciardo said: “It was never close enough that there was any exchange of any paper. There was a bit of phone calls but even then it never got to details: numbers, years. “It never got to, let’s say, step two. It was always at a basic level.” – he explained.
Daniel Ricciardo was often seen as a good fit for Ferrari due to his Italian heritage on his father’s side of the family.
“There was chatter and all that sort of stuff and, for sure, when there was no Italian on the grid for a few years, I think I was seen as the closest thing and people said I would be a good fit. 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.” – he added.
Daniel Ricciardo said he was a Ferrari fan as a child but did not have his heart set on driving for the Italian team when he started out in Formula One.
“Growing up as a really young kid before I was racing, it was Ferrari [that I supported]. We were, I guess, a Ferrari family because my dad was born in Sicily, but that was kind of it. And in saying that, dad was also a massive Senna fan so we didn’t live and die by Ferrari. I had a little bit of Ferrari merchandise, but it wasn’t my dream to race for them. My dream was always to get into Formula One.” – he concluded.