McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo says he held talks with Ferrari regarding a move to the Italian outfit for 2021 but admitted not “diving too deep” into the discussions.
Ricciardo’s transfer from Renault to McLaren next season was announced earlier this month, the Aussie replacing Carlos Sainz who will fill Sebastian Vettel’s seat at Ferrari.
Ricciardo was often cited as Vettel’s successor at the Scuderia even before the news of the German driver’s departure from Maranello. And the 30-year-old — who had been linked to Ferrari in the past — confirmed that the most recent speculation was not wide of the mark.
“There have been discussions already from a few years back, and that continued all the way through to now,” Ricciardo said in an interview with CNN.
“I won’t deny that, but obviously it’s never really come to fruition.
“I’ve never really chose to dive too deep into it. Everyone says it would be a good fit, obviously, with my name and all the background stuff, but I try not to get emotionally caught up in any kind of situation.”
Ricciardo believes that Ferrari’s decision to recruit Sainz was a logical one.
“I see how Carlos is a fit for the team. So I don’t really look at it like ‘why not me?'” he said.
“Carlos had a very strong 2019. He’s a bit of hot property right now, and I guess it’s a good fit for where they are at.”
Regarding his decision to not extend his two-year contract with Renault, Riccardo said the choice had not boiled down to a specific issue or aspect associated with the French outfit, insisting there is no “black and white answer”.
“There wasn’t any moment, which was like a light bulb and said: ‘Yes, that’s what I need to do,” explained the Aussie.
“Equally, there wasn’t something I saw in McLaren, which created that or there wasn’t something in Renault, which created the moment of ‘I have to move on.’
“The discussions with McLaren go back to even before 2018, and I guess continued over time.
“Obviously it’s not an overnight decision. I guess to compare as well the two [teams], I don’t think that’s fair.”
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