Alongside nico hulkenberg, daniel ricciardo wants to get closer to his goal of winning the formula 1 world championship title.
The 29-year-old australian has surprisingly decided to say goodbye to red bull and will drive for the german’s formula 1 team renault from 2019 onwards. This spectacular change was announced by both teams.
"This was probably the most difficult decision i have had to make in my career so far," said ricciardo. "I have been impressed by your progress in just two years. I know: whenever renault has been involved in this sport, they have always won."
Sebastian vettel’s former teammate leaves red bull after five years to improve his world championship chances with the french factory team. He was given a two-year contract; new engine regulations will apply in formula 1 from 2021 onwards.
"We completely accept daniel’s decision," said red-bull team boss christian horner about the most spectacular driver change so far for the upcoming season.
Ricciardo’s switch to renault baffles at first glance. The french are only fourth in the constructors’ championship, far behind red bull. But renault, which took over lotus at the end of 2015, has plenty of resources and can now underpin its world championship ambitions with a top driver like ricciardo. Red bull parts with the french as engine supplier at the end of this season and hopes for stronger and more reliable aggregates from honda from 2019 onwards.
Ricciardo had already announced this week at the tests in hungary that there will soon be news about his future. "We’re definitely through to spa," said the seven-time grand prix winner, looking ahead to the next race after the summer break on the 26th. August.
Ricciardo became at renault the place of carlos sainz jr. Got, which is only on loan from red bull to renault. The spaniard, in turn, could directly replace the man from perth in 2019 and drive alongside max verstappen in the future, as he did at toro rosso. "We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available before deciding who will drive alongside max verstappen in 2019," horner said.
Ricciardo was in great demand on the formula 1 driver market, as his contract is only valid until the end of this season. However, the most attractive options for the australian, who had joined the red-bull junior program in 2008, had been eliminated. Mercedes will continue to rely on lewis hamilton and valtteri bottas in 2019, ferrari trusts sebastian vettel. The scuderia has to decide whether to let kimi raikkonen drive or to get charles leclerc from clean.
Ricciardo now has to compete again with a german rival at renault. In 2014, the australian outshone four-time world champion vettel time and again in his red bull debut season. At renault, ricciardo, who made his formula 1 driving debut for HRT in 2011, will have to deal with hulkenberg in the future.
The emmericher had joined renault for the 2017 season and has a long-term contract. Hulkenberg is still waiting for his first podium finish in the king of motorsports.