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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo details Marko phone call: 'There was no question'

The Australian is back in F1 after taking over from de Vries at AlphaTauri.

Ricciardo Australia
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his reaction to the phone call from Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko to offer him a return to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri.

The Australian was without a seat having been dropped by McLaren at the end of a disappointing two-year stint with the Woking-based outfit.

Red Bull instead came calling to make Ricciardo its third driver for the season, focusing on commercial opportunities that included show runs.

But simulator work had increased in recent weeks and a showing at the Pirelli tyre test post-British Grand Prix was enough to confirm his readiness for an F1 comeback.

The trigger was pulled on Nyck de Vries' 10-race stay with AlphaTauri as the Dutchman's struggles continued, providing a path back to the sport for Ricciardo.

On how he reacted when he saw Marko was making the call, Ricciardo explained: "I was like 'ok, let's just hear what he has to say'.

"That's probably the best thing, because sometimes, you try to prepare yourself for 'what if he asks me this'.

"I didn't really need to think much about it. Being back in this family, I feel like I am kind of going through it all again - these are the calls I used to get and these are the moments they used to throw in front of us.

"There was no question I was going to say yes, it was just the reality of 'ok, it is going to happen pretty soon'."

Red Bull return helped find love

Ricciardo's affection for the sport had waned in his latter days with McLaren and he had indicated he was looking forward to downtime away from the track.

But insisting the rekindling of his relationship with Red Bull had "definitely helped", he added: "Falling out of love [with F1], yes, it was a hit on my confidence and if you are competing in a sport where you are trying to be the best in the world at something, you need full confidence, full belief... all of it.

"When that starts to diminish a little bit, the enjoyment then starts to drop as well. There were a lot of factors.

"Getting back to Red Bull, the reception I had walking back into that team was overwhelming in a positive way.

"Getting back on the sim, I was a bit unsure how it would go, whether the car would feel like it used to, whether I was going to be 'like the old me'.

"Once I did a few sim sessions and started feeling like myself again, it brought me back to normal Daniel where I was falling back in love and ready to go again."

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