"We Gave Ricciardo Everything" - Christian Horner

Paola Ditto
Agosto 10, 2018

Any regular listener to our podcasts - back when we actually did them - will be aware that for a couple of years, editor Balfe warned that he saw no real long-term future for Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull, and that the Australian would eventually end up in a support role to Max Verstappen much like countryman Mark Webber had endured at the Austrian team with Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo, who has been part of Red Bull's main F1 team since 2014, stunned the organisation last week by sealing a surprise move to the factory Renault outfit for next year. "I guess when you look at it it's felt like that".

"It then became very clear that was his choice and you have to respect that".

"I think Daniel decided after a long flight to America, he decided he wanted a change", says the Briton. "If you look at the rational reasons for that, it's hard to understand but Daniel obviously had his reasons".

"They would have equal status, as they have always had". The news leaves a vacancy at the four-time world champions alongside Max Verstappen, and Horner says he is in no rush to confirm Ricciardo's replacement.

But a strength can also be a weakness and Horner believes Verstappen's prowess was a critical factor in Ricciardo's shock decision to depart and partner Nico Hulkenberg at Renault next year.

Horner said he could understand Ricciardo's decision to leave "if it was to Ferrari or Mercedes" but said committing to Renault, which is fighting at the front of the F1 midfield as it rebuilds its works team, is "an enormous risk at this stage in his career".

"I have to admit it's kind of been like trying to convince a girl to go out with you that's been pretty reticent". We have bent over backwards to make it happen, but if someone's heart isn't really in it, then...

"Both of those guys [Sainz and Gasly] are very quick drivers so I think this just gives us an opportunity to take a breath".

"We were even prepared to do a one-year agreement should Ferrari or Mercedes come knocking in twelve months' time", Horner confirmed. I think he felt "I need to take something else on in this stage of my career".

Horner said Red Bull racing had given Ricciardo everything he had asked for' but it wasn't enough to stave off his ambitions to race for another team.

"It might be an inspired choice, it might be one that he regrets".

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