Ricciardo joins Renault F1 team on a two-year deal

Ross Houston
August 7, 2018

Ricciardo drove for Red Bull's junior Formula One team Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013, recording a best finish of 14th. Renault finished ninth in 2016 with Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen in the paddock but upped their game in 2017 with Nico Hulkenberg scoring the majority of the team's points as they finished sixth. Rumours peaked at the French Grand Prix but subsequently subsided as it appeared that the Australian had chose to stay put at Red Bull.

The Australian shocked Formula One fans around the world with his stunning switch, especially when he was touted with moves to heavyweights Mercedes and Ferrari.

Ricciardo's switch to a team outside the big three of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari represents a gamble.

He added: "I realise that there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level".

It would be the same at Red Bull, too. Excited for the challenge at Renault, but it's been a 10-year journey in Red Bull.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes his team was "pretty close" to signing Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo for the 2019 Formula One season.

Carlos Sainz, who Ricciardo will replace at Renault, is likely to join McLaren although the Spaniard also remains in the frame to return to parent team Red Bull as Verstappen's partner.

The two go together, with 23-year-old Sainz loaned to Renault by Red Bull for 2018 after the French manufacturer needed a replacement for under-performing Briton Jolyon Palmer.

So too was staying put at Red Bull, however, with the former champions switching from Renault to Honda power next season.

Sainz's real competition from within the Red Bull ranks is Pierre Gasly who has given a good account of himself in his first full season in the top-flight.

"We fully respect Daniel's decision to leave. and we wish him all the best in his future", said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. But Ricciardo was seemingly unable to convince Ferrari that he would suit driving alongside four-time champion Vettel, who was his partner at Red Bull during the 2014 season, and admitted he expected more interest from the Italian team.

"I really appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart, and we've got nine races left to kick some arse, so let's get it".

Ricciardo, 29, is fifth in the 2018 drivers' standings and has won in China and Monaco this season, two of his seven Grand Prix victories.

'Jérôme Stoll, President, Renault Sport Racing: Renault chose to come back to Formula One to fight for World Championships.

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