Daniel Ricciardo leaving Red Bull Racing for Renault in 2019


With the F1 world now in its annual enforced summer break, something instituted to cut costs and revitalise flyaway team members in the middle of a packed calendar, the biggest developments before the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa on August 28 will be in the driver market.

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo will join the Renault Formula One team next season after agreeing a two-year deal, the French manufacturer said in a statement on Friday.

"We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season", Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said in a statement.

"It was probably one of the most hard decisions to take in my career so far".

Favourite for the spot is Carlos Sainz, the Toro Rosso driver who has been on loan to Renault this year but who has been strongly linked to McLaren in 2019 alongside Fernando Alonso.

Once that is all decided only time will tell whether Ricciardo has made the right move, as four-times world champion Lewis Hamilton did at the end of 2012 when he left McLaren for as-yet unsuccessful Mercedes.

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Despite team boss Christian Horner claiming a new deal was close only last month, the 29-year-old has since decided to make the move to Renault.

Ricciardo is now fifth in the points standings, 14 points behind Valtteri Bottas in fourth and 95 points behind Hamilton in the points lead.Ricciardo has won seven races in his F1 career, including three in his first season with Red Bull Racing in 2014.

Enough for Renault to choose Daniel Ricciardo as a new racer for the next two seasons. "Each time Renault has been in the sport they eventually won". 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. It's been a ten year journey with Red Bull.

Red Bull Racing dropped the bombshell about their former driver at 9:05pm but it wasn't until an hour later that new team, Renault, announced the Australian acquisition.

An fantastic journey needs an equally impressive vehicle to complement it, and they don't come much more incredible than the Red Bull RB7.

Ricciardo claimed seven victories at Red Bull and was originally expected to clear up his contract issues in the near future. "Renault chose to come back to Formula One to fight for world championships", said team president Jerome Stoll as the deal was announced.