Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull and Renault could work together again in future following Honda’s decision to leave Formula 1.
Honda will pull out of the sport at the end of the 2021 season, leaving Red Bull needing to find a new power unit supplier, or potentially take over the IP of the Honda engine and put together its own project. If it signs a deal as a customer then Renault would be obliged to offer Red Bull a supply as the manufacturer with the fewest customers for 2022, and Ricciardo – who left Red Bull for Renault two years ago – says he can see the two patching things up after an acrimonious end to their previous partnership.
“I think they could,” Ricciardo said. “Obviously it’s not really up to me to decide how that goes, but I do think they could. I think as well there’s… call it emotions, and then there’s business, and there’s time. Obviously time heals a lot of things and whether things weren’t seen eye-to-eye a few years ago or whenever it was, I don’t think that will necessarily remain forever.
“So if that’s what ends up happening in the future, I think they can get back on good working terms. I never experience anything that was irreparable so I’m not concerned if that’s what they do. I think they’ll get on with it.”
Although Ricciardo cited his uncertainty over the future Red Bull-Honda partnership when he opted to leave the team, he insists he feels no vindication now the Japanese manufacturer is set to withdraw from F1.
“I honestly don’t feel anything personal towards it,” he said. “I’m not jumping around saying ‘Oh yeah, look, I was right!’ It’s nothing like that. Obviously as far as Red Bull and my relationship with them and a lot of personnel in the team, I kept that strong throughout. Even through my decision I kept good relationships, so I never wanted them to struggle or suffer, so to speak.
“Now they’ve got a decision to make with what happens next, but I don’t really look at it in a personal light of me winning or losing, it’s just the nature of the sport. There’s always a chance, the sport’s changing so much that there is a chance that stuff like this happens. I do hope they obviously find a solution, a good one, and they stay afloat and keep being a rival for the rest of us.”