Australian racer makes surprise switch to join Nico Hulkenberg in works Renault outfit for 2019

Formula 1 race winner Daniel Ricciardo will make a shock move from Red Bull to Renault from next season onwards. 

The Australian is a graduate of Red Bull's driver development scheme, breaking into F1 with a part-season with the now-defunct HRT squad funded by the fizzy drink firm in 2011. He then spent two years at Toro Rosso – Red Bull's junior team – before gaining promotion to the top squad.

Ricciardo, 29, finished third in the world championship in 2014 and 2016, and is currently fifth in this year's standings, with two wins so far this season. 

Renault returned to the sport as a full works team in 2016, and has yet to score a podium. Ricciardo will join Nico Hulkenberg at the French squad, replacing Carlos Sainz.


Ricciardo described the move as “one of the most difficult decisions to take in my career so far.”

He added: “I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge. 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.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing’s managing director, 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.”

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Red Bull said it has yet to decide who will partner Max Verstappen in 2019, when the team will switch from using TAG Heuer-branded Renault engines to run works Honda power units. Contenders for the driver include Pierre Gasly, who currently races for Toro Rosso, and Sainz, who is under contract to Red Bull and has been loaned out to Renault.

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3 August 2018

 No surprise,not good enough for Mercedes and Ferrari are happy to wait a year and keep Kimi on, who is getting Daniels seat at Redbull though...?

Peter Cavellini.

3 August 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 No surprise,not good enough for Mercedes

You're having a laugh, right? Ricciardo is far more capable than Bottas. All-round more consistent, and probably the best wheel-to-wheel racer on the grid (aside from Alonso). This is a big surprise. I would have preferred it if he remained with RB for another season then switch to a better team.

3 August 2018

I wonder what the real reason for leaving is, does he have no faith in the honda engines RB will use next season or is he fed up playing second fiddle to a relative newcomer, I'm sure he is paid less than Verstappen. I've always thought of him as being a great driver and as sonic says, he is one of, if not the best wheel to wheel racer, he has made so many fantastic passes that don't seem possible. Definitely a case of Redbulls loss is Renaults gain.

3 August 2018

DR is a star, not the best driver but certainly not the worst, Verstappen is gifted but comes across a stroppy teenager (Kevin off the Fast Show), Verstappen reminds me of Schumacher he will be World champion one day. As for the rest:

Hamilton - Still the best overall but a bit too much "LA" attitude these days

Vettel - good but like a lightweight Schuey - likes moaning and buck passing

Bottas - Steady Eddie, good in the right car but not a trailblazer

Given the right car I think Daniel might ruffle some feathers next year, going wheel to wheel with Verstappen as a proper rival will be very interesting to watch!

4 August 2018
si73 wrote:

I wonder what the real reason for leaving is, does he have no faith in the honda engines RB will use next season or is he fed up playing second fiddle to a relative newcomer,


The latter. Verstappen, Mateschits and Marko's love child Max will have priority and got paid a better deal, despiteDaniel being the better driver.

So he moved to another team that sees his worth!

4 August 2018

Brave decision. Renault's reliability in the back of the Red Bull has been appaling, I guess he's hoping to mimic Lewis at Mercedes. Joining a mid table team and being there when they hit top form. What chance Alonso in a Red Bull next year? He'd finally have a decent chassis under him but he does have strong opinions of the Honda engine.

A friend of mine always wanted to be run over by a steam train. When it happened, he was chuffed to bits!

4 August 2018
Leslie Brook wrote:

He'd finally have a decent chassis under him but he does have strong opinions of the Honda engine.

Honda will not have Alonso! He joined Mclaren in blaming them for all problems. Red Bull have a learning curve the next 2 years, a championship driver is not the solution.

4 August 2018

 Well that’s an impression you could almost apply to F1 these Days, so we think his move is a bit strange, a mid table team, hoping a la Mercedes they will turn from a Duckling into a Swan, making a few “ impossible passes” your words not mine doesn’t make him Championship material, he may well be getting less now because of the fearless youthful Verstappen,but if he’s a true racer the financial reward isn’t what drives him ( sorry about the pun),no, F1 is run by a Company and a company wants to make money, obvious you say, well, yes, and to make money you’ve got to provide a service a product that People want or think they want and since F1 was taken out of Bernie’s hands it has become a bit more amusing, shuffling the Drivers around causes surprise especially when it’s a sort of left field move like this, who knows it might work, remember though, a few seasons back it was talk of where Grosjean was going and he ended up in a Hass Car, I’d be surprised if in 2020 he moved to a top team, heck, he might even be back at Redbull when Verstappen gets the Seat he might, should have gotten?

Peter Cavellini.

5 August 2018

It had to happen.

Look back at Mark Webber.The mechanical and electrical problems he had when Vettell was with RB.Car malfunctions appeared to be isolated just to Marks car.Move forward,this year it appears DR is subject to the same gremlins.STRANGE.

Great move and I think coming out from under RB's Horner control will be the making of him.

garage man

5 August 2018

Garage Man@ you seem to have forgotten how many times MAx Verstappens Car has ground to a halt?, now his might not be gremlins, it may be he’s hard on his Car so there is parity, Vandornne and Alonso, Alonso has consistently finished ahead in the qualifying and in the race, why?, because he’s the guy with talent,well, same might be said at Redbull......?

Peter Cavellini.


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