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Ricciardo wants to end career in Red Bull 'big team'


A rejuvenated Daniel Ricciardo has revealed how he hopes to end his career at Red Bull, with a place back in their world championship-winning "big team" at the top of his wish list.

The 34-year-old Australian comeback star said on Thursday that he hopes to race for a few more years before bringing down the curtain on his distinguished career within the Red Bull racing family where he's enjoyed his main successes.

Ricciardo is currently back in business with the Red Bull-owned 'second team' AlphaTauri, who he joined last month following a break after his exit at the end of 2022 from an underwhelming spell with McLaren, who've employed another Australian Oscar Piastri instead.

But Ricciardo, who's made an encouraging return to form, says it would be a "dream" to eventually get back in the Red Bull Racing team that's dominating the sport.

Red Bull's Mexican number two driver Sergio Perez will be out of contract as double world champion Max Verstappen's teammate at the end of next season, with Ricciardo hoping to prove by then he's still good enough to race for the team with whom he won seven of his eight grand prix.

Talking at the Dutch Grand Prix Red at Zandvoort on Thursday, Ricciardo said: "Now that I'm back in the Red Bull family it's the only place I want to be and want to stay.

"However much longer my career is, it's where I want to end my career.

"It feels like it's the perfect way to finish this second part of my career and, of course, the dream is to get back to the big team. But if it's not that, then I made it clear that I want to be here (at AlphaTauri)."

The Australian still feels he has a "point to prove" after his two disappointing years at McLaren.

"There isn't too much pressure. I feel that I have a point to prove. But I'm not carrying too much weight with that," he said.

"I want to be racing for a few more years. Six months ago, that was not my answer... It feels like me 10 years ago, I feel like I do have that young energy again and that motivation.

"I want to get back to the early days and the real kind of roots and the core of why I got into this and the things that motivated me, just kind of strip everything back and get back to the pure enjoyment of the sport and the love of it."

Ricciardo said that, while he missed the first 10 races of the season, it had given him more time to hone his fitness.

"I was certainly looking after my body more than I usually would on a summer break," he said.

"This second chapter of my career I am feeling different about things. I'm in a very good place and taking it seriously."

Ricciardo said he felt like he had hit the ground running in Hungary and Belgium but needed to make sure he did not get back into 'old habits'.

Asked what they might be, the Australian joked: "Sometimes I just talk and things come out. 

"When results aren't going well, it's hard to be a positive ball of energy. I have awareness now of if I'm falling into negativity.

"Through experience, I'll know now what is the right to path, and what isn't."