Daniel Ricciardo demanded a little too much money to stay in F1 as a full-time driver, according to Haas team boss Gunther Steiner.
Ricciardo’s stock has certainly plummeted following two disappointing seasons with McLaren, but the Australian driver has managed to find a seat at Red Bull as the team’s brand ambassador.
The Honey Badger isn’t even the team’s full-time reserve and will only feature at 8 Grand Prix races through the course of the 2023 season.
This has led to speculation that the 33-year-old may have finally fallen out of love with racing in the pinnacle of motorsport.
Steiner’s assessment further seems to cement this opinion, especially if we look into his comments surrounding why the deal with Ricciardo didn’t materialise despite talks taking place last season.
As things transpired, the seat to race alongside Kevin Magnussen was finally handed to Nico Hulkenberg, but things could have been different had Ricciardo bowed down on his wage demands.
“I don’t know, ask him,” Steiner said when asked why talks broke down with Ricciardo.
Ricciardo himself had confessed that he had an offer from Williams, but instead chose to sign the deal with Red Bull keeping in mind his “long-term future”.
One of the theories surrounding why Ricciardo did not take up any full-time deal is because it would have meant that McLaren did not need to pay him for the final year of his contract.
We already know that this will be Ricciardo’s best year in the sport (financially speaking) despite not even having a full-time seat, thanks largely to the payout from McLaren.
An excerpt from Netflix’s Drive to Survive series shows a conversations between Steiner and Magnussen where the driver is asked for a suggestion on who could partner him at Haas in 2023.
“Ricciardo?” Magnussen asks Steiner.
“We can’t afford it, Kevin. He wants ten f***ing million. Minimum.”
Did Ricciardo pick the best option for himself? Is money the primary motivator for him in F1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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