Daniel Ricciardo has decided to leave Red Bull at the end of the season and switch to Renault on a two-year deal.
The Australian has raced for Red Bull since 2014, having made his debut for HRT in 2011 before two years at Toro Rosso. In that time he has won seven races — including two this year — but Red Bull confirmed on Friday morning that he will leave the team when his contract runs out at the end of the season in order to join Renault.
Ricciardo will replace Carlos Sainz at the French manufacturer and has signed a two-year deal alongside Nico Hulkenberg.
“We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “We would like to thank him for his dedication and the role he has played since joining the Team in 2014, the highlights of course being the seven wins and the 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us.
“We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season. In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximizing every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season.”
There is no mention about Sainz’s future, with the Spaniard still a Red Bull driver but having had a difficult relationship with Verstappen during their time as Toro Rosso teammates. Sainz had been linked with a move to McLaren — with a Red Bull sourced telling RACER in Germany he is in danger of being without a seat next season — while Pierre Gasly has impressed at Toro Rosso so far and is understood to be under consideration to replace Ricciardo.