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Baku "s***-show" played part in Ricciardo's Renault move

NEWS STORY
12/03/2019

Although we had predicted just such a move, when Daniel Ricciardo revealed that he had decided to jump ship and leave Red Bull for Renault, like the rest of the sport the news still came as something of a shock.

While our reasoning was based mainly on the fact that Verstappen had previously signed a new long-term deal with the Austrian team, which we assumed would effectively give him the same primary driver status previously given to Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo has admitted that last year's events in Baku - where the two teammate collided - played a part in his decision.

"I struggled to let that go, the whole race and the aftermath," he tells The Age. "That played a part in my decision. I never really felt the same after that.

"As soon as I crashed into him, part of me felt, 'you guys deserved this, that was a shit-show'," he admits. "If the roles were reversed, if I'd been in front and moved twice in the braking area and he'd run up the back of me, would things have been handled the same way? It was a question I kept coming back to.

"The team treated us as both equally at fault in that situation, where I think deep down they knew that it was their mistake and Max's mistake. A lot of things didn't sit well."

In terms of Verstappen being treated differently as far as status is concerned, Ricciardo insists: "There was nothing physical... it's not like he had, say, a better or newer front wing than me.

"But he committed to the team for so long so early and signed such a big deal, and there was a feeling for me that the team was thinking, 'he's put more faith in us than you have, and you're taking so long to negotiate'.

"Perhaps they thought 'you're not going to go anywhere else'," he admitted, "but I think that's the wrong mentality. I felt like I had to work too hard to justify what I wanted, and what the performances I've had say I should be worth.

"Perhaps the love just wasn't there," he concluded.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ffracer, 14/03/2019 20:26

"No Daniel, RB and Max got tired of the overwhelming flatulence during debrief... lol

"

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2. Posted by Canuck, 13/03/2019 1:40

"It will take a long time for Max to mature to the level on Daniel. Brazil is just one example. Max is fast but thinks he ears the respect of everyone one else on the grid. Daniel is a fair fighter in line with some of the great drivers in the sport."

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