Daniel Ricciardo admits he holds some interest in joining either McLaren or Renault in order to try and lead either team toward the front of the Formula 1 grid.
Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have all won multiple races this season, but McLaren and Renault continue to invest heavily to try and break the dominance of those three teams. With Fernando Alonso’s future at McLaren uncertain, Ricciardo — who is out of contract at the end of the year — was linked with a move to replace the Spaniard on Thursday, and he says joining either McLaren or Renault is a scenario he would contemplate.
Asked if it is appealing to go to either team to be the lead driver even if they’re not winning races, Ricciardo replied: “There is part of it which is.
“I’m not going to say it doesn’t interest me at all. Probably more because what Lewis [Hamilton] was able to do with Mercedes. If you’re saying those two teams, they are not quite in that position yet. But could they be? Maybe. The thought of that, it has some appeal.
“I wouldn’t say it’s top of my list now. But I wouldn’t dismiss it also. I’ve said with Red Bull, I’m also careful not to, just from a personal point of view, burn any bridges because you never know where the sport will take you. If I do move on from Red Bull, I never want to criticize them. I’ve had it pretty good there and it’s been really fun.
“McLaren and Renault aren’t there today but maybe they will be there in a year or three years’ time. You never know. Lewis pulled the trigger pretty well. Whether he fluked it, he said it was going to happen, I don’t know! Whether he fluked it or not, he did well for himself with that move.
“Whether it’s just a fantasy for everyone else, at least there is some proof something like that can happen again.”
And asked about comments attributed to Helmut Marko that McLaren has made him a big money offer, Ricciardo replied: “I did see it about an hour ago.
“As far as comments on it, I haven’t been presented anything which says that. I’m aware, I’ll be honest… everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go but I’m aware there is going to be interest from other teams and McLaren is probably one of them.
“Probably it depends on what Fernando does, if he stays or if he goes. If he does go, they probably want a more experienced driver to come in. We’ll see. There are a lot of things to weigh up. Nothing really to comment on that.”