Daniel Ricciardo insists he has no regrets about his time at Red Bull and believes he learned from the frustrating years with his former team.
Promoted from Toro Rosso ahead of the 2014 season, Ricciardo scored three victories in his first year at Red Bull at the start of the current power unit regulations. Despite that impressive debut for the team, the Australian has only picked up a further four victories since then as Red Bull has been unable to deliver a truly championship-challenging car, but following his move to Renault he says there is nothing he would change about the past five years.
“No, I wouldn’t say any regrets,” Ricciardo told RACER. “Not at all actually. I guess as well I never really had many other options anyway, so it’s not like I could have signed with Mercedes two years ago and I didn’t want to or whatever. So no regrets. I’m happy.
“For sure I look at last year and 2015, there’s been some frustrating years for sure, but I’m always happy with the way I approach it. I don’t look back and say, ‘Ah, if I would have worked harder then I wouldn’t be in this position and I would have made things better for myself.’
“I don’t ever feel like I’ve cheated myself, if you know what I mean, and some of my best weekends have been when I’ve been more chilled about it and less intense. But I think I’ve found that balance, so no regrets.”
Quickly becoming the more senior driver at Red Bull after Sebastian Vettel left ahead of the 2015 season, Ricciardo says he was careful to not overplay his own role within the team from that point onward while he was still gaining experience.
“I’d only been there a year with them, especially when they signed (Daniil) Kvyat, a young kid, I was like, ‘All right, now there’s probably a bit more expectation on me to carry the team, at least for the first part of the season.’ So I did feel that a bit, but I don’t think it really changed my approach to
“I think what I was conscious of is I was aware that especially in testing they’re going to rely on my feedback, and I was conscious not to say s**t for the sake of it. Not to sound smart and sound like a leader. I was thinking I’m better off if I don’t know, say ‘I’m honestly not sure’ as opposed to acting like I know and leading the team in the wrong direction.
“I feel it’s quite important. I’m not going to name teammates and to be honest I probably couldn’t actually specifically name a teammate at the time but I’m sure some have said things at times because everyone is expecting them to say something. So they’re like, ‘Ahh yeah, this did that,’ and
you’re better off just saying, ‘I didn’t feel it’ or ‘I don’t know’ and that’s a more mature response. It won’t potentially take the team in the wrong direction.”