Ricciardo confirms shock move
DANIEL Ricciardo has shocked Red Bull by telling them he's leaving at the end of the season. In an even bigger twist, he's signed a two-year deal to join rival Renault.
The shock announcement was first confirmed by Red Bull before his move to join Renault was announced by the team.
His departure from Red Bulls comes after claims that he has 'felt unloved by Red Bull after they made Max Verstappen their de facto No 1 by rewarding him with a massively improved deal last season' have lead to his departure.
Jonathan McEvoy writes that the Australian, out of contract at the end of 2018, didn't get the 'assurances he craved' from Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
The confirmation of the news come not long afterwards when Renault sent out an official release stating Ricciardo had signed for two-years where he'll partner Nico Hulkenberg.
Ricciardo leaving Red Bull, who have won three races this season, for a Renault team, who are currently around a second-a-lap slower, would certainly be a shock, especially as the two outfits are at odds over engines at the moment.
Red Bull are ditching Renault power for Honda next year after a raft of reliability failures.
"It was probably one of the most difficult decisions to take in my career so far. But I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge," Ricciardo said in the statement.
"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's team president Jerome Stoll and their Managing Direction Cyril Abiteboul know the signing will help in the teams' push to reclaim another title.
"Signing Daniel Ricciardo is a unique opportunity for the Groupe Renault towards this objective that could not be missed. We welcome Daniel's arrival to our team, still in the making, but more motivated than ever," Stoll said.
"Daniel's signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport," Abiteboul added.
"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."