Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he held discussions with Ferrari regarding a potential move to the Italian outfit prior to his recent switch to McLaren.
Ricciardo recently confirmed he would be leaving Renault at the end of the 2020 season to join McLaren in place of Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz.
Ferrari has been interested in poaching Ricciardo since as early as 2017, stepping up its negotiations a year later when the Australian was out of contract at Red Bull.
Further talks resurfaced at the beginning of 2020 when Ferrari was considering a replacement for Sebastian Vettel, but Ricciardo was overlooked in favour of Sainz.
“There have been discussions already from a few years back, and that continued all the way through to now,” Ricciardo told CNN.
“I won’t deny that, but obviously it’s never really come to fruition.
“I’ve never really chose to dive too deep into it. Everyone says it would be a good fit, obviously, with my name and all the background stuff, but I try not to get emotionally caught up in any kind of situation.”
Ricciardo was adamant he had no hard feelings towards Ferrari’s decision to sign Sainz instead of him, saying he understood the reason why the Spaniard was offered the seat.
“I see how Carlos is a fit for the team. So I don’t really look at it like ‘why not me?'” Ricciardo said.
“Carlos had a very strong 2019. He’s a bit of hot property right now, and I guess it’s a good fit for where they are at.”
Ricciardo had previously been in talks with McLaren over a 2019 seat over the course of 2018 before he opted to agree a two-year deal at Renault.
When contemplating McLaren’s offer this time around, Ricciardo, a seven-time grand prix winner, said there was nothing that had triggered his decision to quit Renault and pen a contract with the British team.
“There wasn’t any moment, which was like a light bulb and said: ‘Yes, that’s what I need to do.'” he said.
“Equally, there wasn’t something I saw in McLaren, which created that or there wasn’t something in Renault, which created the moment of ‘I have to move on.’
“The discussions with McLaren go back to even before 2018, and I guess continued over time.
“Obviously it’s not an overnight decision. I guess to compare as well the two [teams], I don’t think that’s fair.”