Ricciardo: My toughest ever decision

04/08/2018
NEWS STORY

While he has yet to reveal exactly why he has chosen to leave Red Bull for Renault, Daniel Ricciardo admits that the decision was one of the hardest of his entire life.

The morning after the Australian sent F1 into its summer break with one of the biggest stories of the year, Ricciardo took to social media.

"The news is out, it's real," he says. "By far the toughest decision I've made in my racing career but twenty-nine years living on this earth, it was actually one of the toughest life decisions I've made.

"It's sad to move on, absolutely," he continues. "Excited for the challenge at Renault. It's been a ten-year journey with Red Bull. I was on the junior programme in 2008 and some amazing memories from there. Things I will always be grateful for and I will never forget that ride.

"Personally I felt it was a time now where it was good to move on and have a fresh start somewhere else. I think it will be healthy for me so, excited for what lies ahead for me at Renault. Just want to thank Red Bull Racing, Red Bull the company, for everything they've done for me, I really appreciate it, from ther bottom of my heart. We've got nine or ten races left to kick some ass, so let's get it.''

Other than why he chose Renault over Red Bull, mystery surrounds the timing of the announcement.

Just moments after the Daily Mail appeared to break the news, a couple of websites repeated the claims, citing the tabloid.

Around thirty-five minutes later Red Bull confirmed that Ricciardo was indeed leaving the team, but gave no indication where he was heading.

Fifty minutes after the Red Bull press release, Renault officially confirmed that Ricciardo was joining its team to partner Nico Hulkenberg.

Friday effectively being the last day of term, one cannot help but feel that Red Bull jumped the gun, possibly leaking the news in a bid to steal Ricciardo and Renault's thunder - after all, there is little love lost between the two constructors.

The fact that it took Renault almost an hour to issue its own press release suggests that the French team was caught on the hop and not initially prepared to announce the move but was forced into issuing its own statement after Red Bull had gone public.

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Published: 04/08/2018
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