Daniel Ricciardo on F1 podcast talking about his time at Red Bull ending.
Daniel Ricciardo on F1 podcast talking about his time at Red Bull ending.

Moment that pushed Ricciardo out

Daniel Ricciardo shocked the F1 world when he announced he was departing Red Bull at the end of the 2018 season and switching to Renault.

The move caught many by surprise as it was a step down for the man who had competed near the front of the grid over the previous five seasons.

But Ricciardo saw his switch as one looking to the future with Renault's potential to compete for championships ahead of where Red Bull was going.

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Speculation rose around why Ricciardo had departed the more powerful Red Bull with talks of a rift between Ricciardo and Max Verstappen and suggestions he was worried about being pushed down to the number two driver in the garage.

But the smiling Aussie refused to delve into why and instead turned his focus onto Renault and pushing the car towards the front of the grid.

But following the completion of the 2019 season, a disastrous one if looking at the numbers for Renault, Ricciardo has opened up on when he was convinced his time at Red Bull was at an end.

Ricciardo reflected on the Baku crash.
Ricciardo reflected on the Baku crash.

A nightmare unfolded during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for the team when Ricciardo crashed into the back of Verstappen and saw both drivers out of the race.

Both drivers were reprimanded for the incident, but it was the build up followed by the crash that pushed Ricciardo's mind out the door.

"I was in the moment and you're battling and yes it's a teammate but you also see everyone as a competitor. Teammate or not we're going to race hard and it is what it is," Ricciardo said on F1's Beyond the Grid podcast.

"We touched wheels a few times and a part of me was waiting for the team to say 'boys, cut the s***', but we never really got that.

"I hate when I hear on the radio guys 'tell him to do this, he's blocking me'. I never want to come across as a whinger.

"We pitted, I eventually passed Max and then the undercut wasn't powerful. The overcut was more powerful because the tyres warm up.

"I pitted first and then Max had come back out in front of me, so then I was furious because I'd put all the hard work in and now he's back in front of me.

"So now I was like surely you're going to let me go this time because we're going to have the same result.

"I came on the radio and did say something and my engineer just said 'you're racing Max', which means no team orders you've got to do it again.

Daniel and Max battle around the track at Baku.
Daniel and Max battle around the track at Baku.

"I still believe, I mean I've let it go, I sold him the dummy so there was enough room originally on the inside and then he closed it and then we crashed.

"At the time of impact I'll be honest I was like 'who cares, they deserve this'. That was my honest feeling, I wasn't sad I just lost points it was more just anger and I'll say it now but I was like 'f*** you guys'.

"Everyone saw it coming, I felt like then it was very 50/50 where I didn't believe it was a 50/50. It was kind of then the days after where I was still quite bitter."

Ricciardo was then asked if it was from that crash and his bitterness towards the team that ultimately led him to decide it was time to move on.

"Certainly the week after that yeah, I decided in my mind that I need to move on," Ricciardo said.

"But then you go Monaco a month later and I have the highest of highs and I'm like 'I was just emotional in Baku'. But for sure Baku was a tough one for me too move on from."

Ricciardo joined Renault ahead of the 2019 season on a two-year deal behind the premise the team's progress would launch him back to the world championship race more so than what he had at Red Bull.

"Five years there, yeah we won races and got podiums. But we never ever got close to fighting for a world title," Ricciardo said.

"I never went to the last race, probably the last three races with a mathematical chance of winning.

"I felt like I gave it enough time and there wasn't enough progress in the five years to show that we would get back to the front, I mean like winning like Mercedes are doing.

"So I felt like the ability to become more frustrated was higher in an environment which I saw was a little bit of a stalemate as opposed to Renault which was on the end and gave me a chance to clear my head as well.

"It was nothing personal to Red Bull or even the personnel, I built some amazing relationships in that team but it was just the picture as a whole seemed less appealing."

News Corp Australia

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