“There was a bit of phone calls”– Daniel Ricciardo talks to what extent his talks with Ferrari progressed last year to replace Sebastian Vettel.
Daniel Ricciardo signalled his disinterest to continue in Renault last year by not signing the contract, and eventually, he joined McLaren at the first opportunity.
He was also linked with Ferrari and now has revealed the contact he set up with them, but the talks never progressed, and Carlos Sainz eventually joined the Italian team.
“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,” said Ricciardo to ESPN.
“It never got to, let’s say, step two. It was always at a basic level.” While he was linked with Ferrari, there was chatter about him having the edge over other contenders because of his Italian heritage.
“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.”
Ferrari fan but never gave heart to them.
Ricciardo reveals that he was a Ferrari fan as a youngster but never set his heart to join Ferrari at a professional level and was open to other teams.
“Growing up as a really young kid before I was racing, it was Ferrari [that I supported],” he added. “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.”