Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says he’s saddened by Daniel Ricciardo’s plight at McLaren, but also confident that the Aussie will eventually “come through”.
Ricciardo who raced for Red Bull Racing from 2014 to 2018, winning all of his seven Grand Prix victories with the Milton Keynes-based outfit, has remained “a great friend of the team” according to Horner.
The Red Bull boss even revealed how Ricciardo had called him in the spring of 2020 following the news of his departure from Renault after a fruitless two-year spell with the French outfit.
“When he announced he was leaving Renault, he gave me a call in the shutdown last year,” Horner told the Beyond The Grid podcast.
“I remember him saying, ‘You’re probably thinking I told you so, and yeah you did!’ But yeah, that was his decision that he felt he needed to make at that time.
“He’s still a great friend of the team. He’s a great driver.”
So far, it’s been a tough season for Ricciardo with his new team, with the Aussie struggling to adapt his driving to McLaren’s Mercedes-powered MCL35M, a car that has proved competitive in the capable hands of Lando Norris.
After the recent Austrian Grand Prix in which he finished P7, Ricciardo stated that he was feeling better at the wheel of his car, although he acknowledged that there was still “something missing”.
- Read also: Ricciardo wary of ‘resenting’ F1 after ‘difficult’ transition
Horner is watching his former driver’s struggles from afar and takes no pleasure in witnessing Ricciardo’s pain. But the Briton still believes in the Honey Badger’s prospects with McLaren.
“I’m sad to see him having the struggles that he’s having at the moment,” said Horner. “But I’m sure he’ll come through them.”
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