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Red Bull vetoed Ricciardo Le Mans outing

NEWS STORY
24/01/2016

Up until the mid-70s, when F1 drivers weren't driving their cars in Grands Prix or non-championship races, it was common for them to spend their free weekends driving various other machinery including F2, Sports Cars, Touring Cars or whatever else was available for racing.

However, as F1 began to grow in popularity and the sport, teams and sponsors became more precious about the brand, drivers found their contracts were suddenly preventing them from competing in other series.

Of course, the situation was not helped by the fact that a number of legendary F1 drivers were killed whilst racing in other disciplines, most notably Jim Clark who was killed in an F2 race at Hockenheim in 1968.

Last year, Nico Hulkenberg raised the issue of drivers contesting other series, most notably the WEC, when he headed to Le Mans to participate in the legendary 24-hour race, and won on his debut, sharing his victory in the LMP1 Porsche with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.

In the weeks that followed a number of rival F1 drivers admitted to being tempted by Le Mans, including Fernando Alonso.

It has now emerged that Daniel Ricciardo also wanted to head to Le Mans last year, but the move was vetoed by Red Bull.

"Le Mans would be cool," he told Auto Action. "To be honest, I wanted to do it last year. There was maybe some opportunities to do it last year, but it was a bit too much with everything going on and the team (Red Bull) preferred me to just focus on F1. It makes sense for now.

"Obviously Hulkenberg went and did it and won," he added, "I would love to have done it. So that can happen. I guess the beauty of Le Mans is it can happen ten years from now. It doesn't need to be done today."

The Australian admitted that at the height of the Red Bull engine crisis - which could yet return - when the team was threatening to walk away from the sport, he considered various options.

"There were thoughts in the back of my head but I didn't actually think it would happen," he admitted. "I assumed something would've popped up when it needed to.

"I had faith. But what I would have done otherwise, I don't know. But definitely racing of some sort, maybe NASCAR, but I'm aware that wouldn't be easy to adapt to so I'd need a fair bit of practice if I was to go there."

Shades of another racing legend who never let a free weekend go to waste, Mario Andretti.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 27/01/2016 13:00

"Red Bull did not have it's logo on the Le Mans car, so no ride for Dan."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by F One, 26/01/2016 21:34

"Red Bull being a bunch of killjoys? Who'd have thought it."

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