Daniel Ricciardo Makes Shock Decision To Leave Red Bull For Renault

Daniel Ricciardo has shocked the Formula One worls by announcing that he will quit Red Bull Racing at the end of this season and drive for Renault on a two-year contract.

Just last week, the popular Australian racer told the media that he was just days away from signing a new contract with Red Bull Racing after potential drives at Mercedes and Ferrari didn’t materialize.

In a statement, Ricciardo said he hopes to be able to lead Renault from its current position in the mid-field up to the top of the sport.

“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.

“I realize 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,” Ricciardo said.

Can Ricciardo return Renault to the top of the sport?

Electing to step out of a race-winning Red Bull and into a Renault is a huge risk for Ricciardo. Sky Sports F1 says that it is a move which mimics Lewis Hamilton’s decision to leave a race-winning McLaren for a mid-field Mercedes in 2013. Ricciardo will hope to replicate the success Hamilton has enjoyed in the years since, though it is by no means an easy feat, and he’ll need to have a top-notch car to begin with.

It is believed that Red Bull’s move to ditch Renault engines in favor of Honda power units for next year played a role in Ricciardo’s decision to leave the team.

While driving for Red Bull, Ricciardo has claimed seven victories, 29 podiums and scored 904 championship points. He has repeatedly expressed his desire to drive a car that can rival for a championship, but so far, Red Bull has failed to provide him with a racer that will challenge the Mercs and Ferraris on all races.

The Australian will partner Nico Hulkenberg at Renault. Red Bull Racing has yet to announce who will partner Max Verstappen.

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  • salamOOn

    paycheck increase, thats it.

    • Blue Gum

      Yeah, because winning less means more money…..
      Grow a brain.

      • salamOOn

        i dont need to grown anything.
        if you are a worse team, the only chance to catch a bigger fish is offer more money….
        you can see that in a hockey, football, everywhere.

        • LeStori

          Either way he had to leave. Mercedes and Ferrari have “lead drivers. That would have been a problem for Ricciardo and maybe the reason for his large asking price. To compensate for his wingman status until Vettel or Hamilton left. With Red Bull seemingly favouring Verstappen as the next Vettel in their team, Renault is a good choice. They want to win. Have done so before. Should do again.

        • benT

          wrong

    • Earl Scheib

      I ain’t gonna lie, I’m shocked AF!

  • That is very shocking indeed, Ricciardo is known for his loyalty to Red Bull, but again given of recent treatments towards him, it didn’t surprised me that he ended up say enough, good luck for your next adventure in Renault.

  • benT

    enough was enough 2 years ago.

    • LeStori

      AS Soon as Verstappen got his special deal it was all over for Ricciardo

  • fabri99

    I’ve always liked Ricciardo and I really hope this move works out for him. And I also hope Renault goes back to the top once again, both Ricciardo and Hulkenberg deserve so much more. It won’t be easy, but it’s also true that it is better to be in a team that supplies its own engines, and also that Honda engines are not really the ideal solution (they didn’t work too bad this year, but they have been a nightmare for McLaren in the past). Frustration towards the team must have played a big role too in this decision. Oh, and not having Verstappen as a teammate can only be a bonus.

  • LeStori

    In reality he did not have much choice. Red Bull installed the new “Vettel” aka Max Verstappen and Ricciardo was being sidelined. At Renault he will be lead driver in a factory team. If it does not work out he still has options as only a 2 year deal. He is likeable, marketable and seemingly fast with apparent talent. Red Bulls loss, Renaults gain. Best wishes.

  • benT

    What Verstappen brings to the team could include cash or sponsorship requiring the team to pay him less.

    When the two have an apparently identical car, Ricciardo seems to be able to run away from Verstappen quite easily.

    Verstappens has had some clearly childish accidents and is given too much latitude. I hope to see his true colours include a continuation of this accident-prone driving skill.
    An odd circumstance as Ricciardo is a much better driver than Verstappen – he goes around rather than through a problem and still comes out on top.

    Hoping Renault have power and handling next season!

    I doubt the amount of money is part of the reason to leave.

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