Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he held talks with Porsche over taking up a drive at Le Mans 2015 in the seat that ultimately went to Nico Hülkenberg.
Ricciardo, driving for Red Bull at the time, was one of a number of drivers that were linked to the third seat in the third 919 Hybrid Porsche entered into the French endurance classic, with the likes of Fernando Alonso and Jean-Eric Vergne also under consideration.
Porsche ultimately picked Hülkenberg to partner factory drivers Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, and became the first active Formula One driver to win at Le Mans since Bertrand Gachot and Johnny Herbert in 1991.
Ricciardo is set to move from Renault to McLaren for the 2021 season, where he will link up with Andreas Seidl, who was the head of Porsche’s LMP1 program when the Australian held talks over an appearance at Le Mans.
“Andreas is a guy that I do really look forward to working with,” Ricciardo spoke ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
“I was first in contact with him back in 2014, there was a bit of a push to try to do Le Mans at the time with Porsche, and there were some small talks but I’ve heard people who work with him speak very highly.
“And I’m looking forward to that. So keep being a sponge and try to make myself better.”
Seidl also commented on the talks between Porsche and Ricciardo, stating that Red Bull ultimately denied permission for the seven-time Grand Prix winner to race at Le Mans.
“Yeah, as Daniel said, we had some conversations back in the day,” Seidl said. “Unfortunately he didn’t get the permission at that time to join the project.”
“I think that would have been an interesting experience for us, but also for him. The car that he was supposed to drive actually won Le Mans.”