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Ricciardo to Renault: A good or bad move?

07 August 2018

Ricciardo surprised the F1 world yesterday when his switch from Red Bull to Renault was announced after many expected the Australian to remain at Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen.

The "toughest decision" of Daniel Ricciardo's life, in opting to leave Red Bull and join Renault next season, could be good news for some Formula One drivers but leaves others facing an uncertain future. "We still have ten races in the season in 2018, and we are fully focused on how to extract the maximum possibilities with max and Daniel", - commented on the departure of the head of Riccardo "Red bull" Christian Horner.

"It was probably one of the most hard decisions to take in my career so far", said Ricciardo in a Renault statement.

It's also one of those moves that shows a determination to take on a challenge and carry the team up the grid, on his talent (combined with new team mate Nico Hulkenberg).

The two go together, with 23-year-old Sainz loaned to Renault by Red Bull for 2018 after the French manufacturer needed a replacement for under-performing Briton Jolyon Palmer.

Renault's surprise signing of Ricciardo, which came as nearly everyone in Formula One assumed his staying at Red Bull was a done deal, also has a knock-on effect on the plans of Mercedes, Force India and Williams.

Renault has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will join its driver lineup from 2019. Partner Riccardo in "Reno" will be Nico Hulkenberg.

Electing to step out of a race-winning Red Bull and into a Renault is a huge risk for Ricciardo. Ricciardo added: "I hope to be able to help them in this journey".

He will contest another nine races with Red Bull before switching to Renault ahead of 2019.

The promising Sainz, who like Ricciardo is a product of Red Bull's driver development programme, is one driver already looking for a seat. He finished third in the drivers' standings in 2014 and 2016.

Daniel Ricciardo will see out the season with Red Bull but conceded the decision to leave wasn't made lightly.

Renault team president Jerome Stoll said the signing underlined their ambition: "Renault made a decision to come back to Formula One to fight for World Championships".

Though the reason for the split between Ricciardo and Red Bull is unknown, he will be leaving the team after seven victories, 29 podium finishes, two pole positions and 904 championship points.

Ricciardo to Renault: A good or bad move?