F1: Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull and join Renault
Red Bull Racing confirms Australian driver’s departure at the end of the season
Red Bull Racing have confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will leave the team when his contract expires at the end of the season.
It was reported yesterday that Ricciardo was “definitely” going to sign a new deal with Red Bull, but today the Australian driver has announced he will be joining Renault.
In a statement published on Sky Sports, Red Bull confirmed: “Daniel Ricciardo has advised us that he is to leave the team at the end of the 2018 season. Having joined the Red Bull family in 2008 as a member of the Red Bull Junior Team, with whom he won numerous junior titles, Daniel made his F1 debut in 2011 at the British Grand Prix.
“After two seasons with Scuderia Toro Rosso, Daniel joined us in 2014 and to date has brought the team seven victories, 29 podium finishes, two pole positions and 904 championship points.”
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner added: “We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future. We would like to thank him for his dedication and the role he has played since joining the team in 2014, the highlights of course being the seven wins and the 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us.
“We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season.
“In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximising every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season.”
Ricciardo and Hulkenberg
At Renault Ricciardo will race alongside Nico Hulkenberg next season. This means Carlos Sainz is currently without a seat for 2019, F1.com reports. Sainz is on loan at Renault from Red Bull for the 2018 campaign.
Ricciardo said the decision to leave Red Bull was one of the most difficult he has taken in his career so far.
“I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge,” he said. “I realise that there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level but I have been impressed by their progression in only two years, and I know that each time Renault has been in the sport they eventually won. I hope to be able to help them in this journey and contribute on and off track.”
Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul added: “Daniel’s signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport.
“It is also a recognition of the work accomplished over the past two and a half seasons. Daniel’s undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team.
“We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best car possible. We welcome him to our growing team in 2019 with a great deal of pride, but also humility.”