After two seasons of largely underwhelming performances and being outclassed by teammate Lando Norris, Ricciardo was replaced in McLaren’s 2023 driver line-up after having his contract cancelled a year early. 

Ricciardo has rejoined Red Bull as a third driver and is targeting a competitive full-time F1 drive for 2024. 

Will Lando Norris be F1 world champion with McLaren?

Brown, who described the Australian’s failed McLaren stint as a “great mystery”, has not ruled out the prospect of the 33-year-old returning to Woking at some stage. 

"He's got the talent," Brown said during an interview on McLaren’s YouTube. "He's showed us that in Monza and he's won eight Grands Prix.

"It's frustrating, for all of us. I very much hope to see him on the grid again in Formula 1 which is his desire and the door remains open for him to be in a McLaren in the future.

"If the stars align, I'd love to go racing with him again.”

Brown excited by ‘special’ Piastri 

McLaren have signed the highly-rated Oscar Piastri, who claimed back-to-back titles in F3 and F2, as Ricciardo’s replacement. 

The 21-year-old will make his F1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix and Brown has tipped Piastri to be “sensational”. 

"We think Oscar is going to be a sensational racing driver,” he said. 

"If you look at his career to date he's won a lot of championships in his first year, which always tells you a driver is special.

"He's got a great mental approach to the sport and now that we feel Lando has a lot of experience, we feel like we have a great blend of experience and youth - our experience just also happens to have youth.

"We sit here very excited with the potential of our driver line-up of Lando and Oscar for the foreseeable future."