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Ricciardo open to future NASCAR move - but not right now

Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed that he would like to try racing in NASCAR sometime in the future - but that F1 comes first.
Daniel Ricciardo has said that he is still open to the idea of trying out racing in NASCAR sometime in the future, but that he won't be making any moves into US stock car racing any time soon.

"I would love to do it one day," acknowledged the Red Bull Racing star. "But now not only is it a bit rushed but I've definitely got targets here in Europe, in F1, which I want to tick off first.

"Sure I've ticked off the winner's column, but the world title is the real one."

Ricciardo was originally handed an invitation to try out NASCAR racing when he was in the country for the US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas in October.

Leading NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. - who also owns and runs a race team in the second-tier Xfinity support series - publicly offered the Australian a chance to compete in one of NASCAR's few road course events during F1's summer break in 2016, at Watkins Glen International in New York state or alternatively Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The offer came at a time when the future of the Red Bull marque in F1 still hung in the balance over an engine deal, and there had been a real chance that Ricciardo would be left without a race seat for 2016 and be forced out of F1 altogether.

"Dale Jr. invited me to do a NASCAR race next year so I might take that if I don't have a race seat," Ricciardo told reporters at the time. "I like America a lot so to live in America and race post-F1 could be interesting."

However, the talk of a possible NASCAR outing quickly died down once Red Bull recommitted itself to staying in F1 for the foreseeable future and confirmed Ricciardo's position for 2016.

"To be honest I didn't get to a point where I asked Christian because if I did it I'd want to do it properly," Ricciardo said this week. "I think in the calendar there was some races I could do which didn't clash, but the question was when could I do the testing?

"This was even before asking Red Bull, but just in my mind I was thinking 'When could I test? When could I get to America?'

"I think in a tin top I'd be pretty hopeless [to start with]," he admitted. "The cars would be so different I would want to make sure I tested and got comfortable.

"I would hate to go there and get my ass kicked basically, and then it looks bad on F1 as well," he added. "But one day I think I will take up his offer, hopefully racing alongside him. That would be cool."

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Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing  25.01.2016.
25.10.2015- Qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
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27.11.2015 - Free Practice 2, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
(L to R): David Croft (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator with Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
(L to R): Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver, with the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.

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George Zaidan

February 20, 2016 8:11 PM
Last Edited 100 days ago

Did you guys see the story where Toro Rosso boss Tost tells Max not to push hard this season? Tost was probably given a warning by RBR not to embarrass their drivers. Max says no can do and he will be pushing for all he's worth. Go Max Go, give it all you've got and with a Ferrari engine you can do even better than that Renault.


February 20, 2016 7:22 PM

Daniel Ricciardo (or indeed any current F1 driver) might do quite well at Watkins Glen as several teams draft in alternative drivers for this event.However, any one of NASCARs good ol boys might just decide to put him in to the fence to prove a point so it would be a lottery as to whether he makes it to the finish.

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