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Analysis: Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault F1 move on the cards since end of 2017
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Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Aug 2018   |  6:58 pm GMT  |  924 comments

Daniel Ricciardo is on the move to Renault, a transfer confirmed today as Red Bull announced that the Australian seven times Grand Prix winner would be leaving the team and then Renault confirmed that they had signed him.

It’s a smart move by the Australian as there was no move available to either Mercedes or Ferrari and McLaren is too big a risk given how far back they are with the same engine as Renault and Red Bull. The technical reshuffle at McLaren will take some time to work through and even then it will be a Renault customer engine team.

So Ricciardo’s options were to stay at Red Bull or be lead driver in a works team at Renault.

The seeds of this move were sown in autumn last year when Red Bull signed Max Verstappen onto a big money contract extension to the end of 2020. This warded off attention from Mercedes and Ferrari and locked the Dutchman in.

This year the team has confirmed that it will switch to Honda engines for 2019.

The gesture towards his team mate gave Ricciardo a pretty clear feeling about where he stood in the thinking of Helmut Marko and the Red Bull management. He’s liked and respected as much for his consistency and his joyful personality as for his speed.

Ricciardo is one of the fastest drivers in F1, but Red Bull clearly felt that Verstappen has that extra half a tenth of pace as well as combativity that make him the driver to bet the farm on. They wanted to retain Ricciardo, but the premise and the terms were clearly not what Ricciardo wants.

He only has one career and he wants to be world champion. He believes he has seen enough to know that he can be a champion in the right car.

Although he and Verstappen get on far better than Hamilton and Rosberg did at Mercedes, all was fine there until they had a car that one of them would be world champion in and then the game changed.

It was clear that it would be very difficult for Ricciardo to win a world championship in the same team as Verstappen.


Is Renault on a path to glory?

Ricciardo has committed himself to Renault for two seasons, which aligns him with the big guns Verstappen, Hamilton and Vettel on contracts expiring at the end of 2020. At that stage there could be a move around and Ricciardo keeps his options open this way. If he keeps developing there could be a move to Ferrari or Mercedes, but equally by then Renault could be at their level of performance.

The end of 2020 is also when most of the teams’ bilateral agreements with F1 expire, but not Renault; they were the last manufacturer to sign a bilateral agreement with Bernie Ecclestone when he ran F1 and they are committed beyond the 2020 threshold.

Renault has been steadily ramping up its performance and investment since coming back to take back the team it sold to Lotus. The trajectory looks positive and there is a heap of performance to come from the engine. They need to find more from the chassis too over the next two seasons to challenge the front runners. Ricciardo is probably counting on challenging for podiums in 2019 and wins in 2020.

He’s the ideal driver to take them there as someone who has won seven times and scored almost 30 podiums. Also he’s a driver who will take every half chance offered to get a win or a podium.

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer has given way to Carlos Sainz and now Daniel Ricciardo for 2019.

The team has Hulkenberg under contract and he should go well alongside Ricciardo. The Australian is the model of consistency with only very few ‘off days’ and will extract the maximum from the car every weekend.

Sainz has outperformed Hulkenberg a few times lately and is a contender for Red Bull or McLaren.

Red Bull has him on a ‘piece of elastic’ as team boss Christian Horner puts it, but they also have Pierre Gasly who has shown some very impressive performances this season. The timing is good for him, coming after a weekend in which he did an outstanding job in qualifying and racing to sixth at the Hungaroring for Toro Rosso.

The move should also open things up at Toro Rosso, meaning promising young British driver Dan Ticktum could get his chance, once he amasses enough points for an FIA superlicence.

What do you think of Ricciardo’s move? Leave your comments in the section below

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1

Definitely the right move by Danny Ric. Its the only move that made sense.

Bad for RB as their risks just got bigger. They have a new Engine and new Aero that needs to be developed and now they need to take on a new driver who may not gel with Max, as we saw between Max and Sainz.

With RB currently having no momentum in the sport they are trying very hard to stop from going backwards. They need to keep getting the scraps off the Merc/Ferrari table next year to hold on as Danny Ric wont be available next to keep RB marketing dept happy.

2

Apologies if I missed someone else commenting the same but another element in Dan’s decision would surely be a LACK OF REASON for confidence in Honda doing any better than they did for McLaren this time around yes? Agree with the obvious matters of team treatment as No. two driver, juvenile unpredictable team mate at on the track times etc but from where does this expectation come that RB will be miraculously better with a Honda in the tail? I for one don’t get it and reckon there’s a good chance it was in Dan’s calculations.

3

It doesn’t matter one hoot what we all think on this subject. DR has made his own mind up and good on him for doing so. He’s one of the few drivers on the grid that’s worth listening to so I hope to see him on the podium more often as he’s much better value for money “mate”

4

This is true we can only really now comment on what will happen for next two years. My feeling is neither redbull or renault can win the world championship in the next two years. He feels he has had 3 tough years of fighting max and wants to keep his brand untainted so why not move away from him. Then better seats might come available . As long as he beats the hulk haha..

5

Hey guys come on ! Let’s get these comments to magical 1000 mark lol . All in all I think it’s a calculated gamble. If Renault come good he could be in proper WC contention . Redbull it seems will forever atm until the engine is sorted seem to be perennial third best team.

He has been in that situation for five years now. Might as well change . Gotta take risks in life sometimes !

6

Latest from the grapevine,….. Raikkonen to get 2 year contract extension!!!!. Weird but the again he’s driving better than he has for some time. . Another driver exhibiting the CES factor.

8

Red Bull treated Mark Weber like a number 2 to Vettel even though they were treated the same (Front Wing Silverstone 2010). They might be given the same equipment but it obvious that they see Max as there future.

I believe DR moved not be because of Verstappen getting stronger and stronger ,but he felt Red Bull management were not 100% behind him.

Renault was his best option after the doors closed at Merc & Ferrari. Renault wanted him in the engine switch deal last year but ended up with carlos sainz jr.

It will probably be a step back for 2019 but Renault have been very aggressive in its recruitment since coming back as a full works team. In DR & HB they have a proven GP winner and a Le Mans winner and I think they are going to bag a huge amount of points for the team in 2019.

Red Bull management must be fuming that Renault have been able to lure one of there star assets away. They may also loose carlos sainz jr as I think he would rather go McLaren then back to Toro Rosso if Verstappen puts a veto in a Red Bull.

9

@ Adrian….There is more to come as Horner has really gone berko. He’s now looking quite foolish and he’s opening up a can of worms by dissing on Daniel. Ricciardo is no pushover and despite his flashing smile and cheery persona he has sussed out what the team have in store for Verstappen and he’s struck out. He wants no more. No more Red Bulls@#*, and i’m 100% behind that. Between now and the end of the season Red Bull will be under intense scrutiny as the results are tallied. What do they do? Screw Ricciardo blind in order to maximise Verstappen’s results That will just make Ricciardo’s story all that more solid. Do they let them race fairly? Hardly as that could possibly show up Verstappen if Ricciardo finishes ahead and Verstappen then looks weak and that they, Red Bull, have backed the wrong horse. There are so many possibles that it’s hard to know where it will finish up. Horner should’ve kept his mouth shut and copped it sweet. Hard to do but sensible in the long run. Marko is also being called out over the rumors that Verstappen has voiced his opinion that he doesn’t want sainz in the next garage. Marko is reacting by trying to dispel that notion but already it’s got legs across the media. By my reckoning i’d say that Ricciardo has come out this, ATM, miles in front. He has attracted a great deal of support on most fan forums which is quite heartwarming to see.

10

Ken

The temptation to be more than just diplomatic was too great for Horner. Says something about the man. But are we surprised?

11

@Adrian/Rafa99…I have now listened to the full podcast and i must say i wasn’t too surprised. Clarkson was cosying up to Horner. Never once did he outline some of the contentious issues and the fallout other than to use oblique references. Multi21 was a point in question. He made it sound like he supported Vettel!!! He never mentioned that he himself told Vettel to give the place back and Vettel flipped him the bird. So much for Horner’s duplicity. Still. Horner is trying to salvage his cred within the Red Bull camp and he’ll say anything now towards that end. If, as he says, they offered him everything he asked for and he still rebuffed them then obviously there was something far deeper that Ricciardo rejected. I am really curious to know what that was but i’m afraid that we won’t get the real story for some time, if ever.

12

Ken/Raffa

To me Horner and Marko have shown themselves to be hypocrites. Pretty harsh thing to say I know but I can’t see it any other way. They rambled on about there being no number 1 or number 2 driver in RB, that was not their “philosophy” Marko stated and that there would be no favoratism to either driver however overshadowing this was the elephant in the room which was that the team would be built around Max and to make him the youngest WDC – ever!! And it wasn’t mere words behind this but the massive 3 year contract given to Max. This would have been the reality facing Dan whether he signed for 1 or 2 years. Ironically Horner was right when he said Verstappen was the reason why Dan didn’t resign with the team but not for the reasons he believed.

Horner had the opportunity to be diplomatic about Dan going to Renault; to say that while RB was disappointed in Dan not resigning they nevertheless respected his decision and wish him all the best for the future and leave it at that. But by going beyond that Horner demonstrated the characteristics of a jilted lover.

Unfortunately, given Horner’s reaction the vibe in the garage won’t be what it should be for the remaining 8 races. Pretty disappointing really.

13

@ Adrian…yes, as i’ve said many times, when faced with a structure that is not 100% behind your best endeavours is very hard, if not impossible, to countenance. Like Germany for example. As soon as Ricciardo, who was absolutely flying [ see JA’s chart ] he was pulled when within one second of Verstappen. Now we/i are not privy to the inside details but it is that sort of insidious intervention which would undermine even the strongest of competitors. There may have been an alternative reasoning for RB to pull that move but i am not aware of it being put forward in any forums or reputable media sites. Ricciardo’s move is , as many have said ,including me, bold/possibly a step backwards but at least he’s going to try and buck the Red Bull system. For that he gets’ the ‘ears and the tail’.

14

There were strategy calls were not helpful to Dan already, with RB defending the call afterwards, but the irony now that Horner spoke his mind in that podcast, those calls will be taken with much greater scrutiny.

Dan can take a breather now that he basically rescued his career from being (Webber-nised). He can sit back and doesn’t care about races, or race hard. I suspect the latter.

Which I suspect may lead to the situation you mentioned, Dan topping the points, which I suspect RB hierarchy would not be comfortable with. It is possible RB could do a Bottas on Dan. We hope not, but Horner words opened the door for that.

There could be another option, an early release of Dan, a swap with Carlos, or another way. Similar things happened before.

15

There could be another option, an early release of Dan, a swap with Carlos, or another way. Similar things happened before.

If that were to happen I would not be surprised in the least….

16

Come the end of the summer break Kenneth….the silence will be deafening!

17

I think there is more to this story.

In Christian Horner’s recent GRID interview on F1 YouTube, Horner sounded quite bitter about Ricciardo’s move to Renault.

In fact he says he didn’t believe it when he spoke to Ricciardo on the phone.

Horner also is quite hypocritical, suggesting Ricciardo has turned his back on RB support yet RB & Horner have publicly backed ‘Verstappen’ (build the team around him).

I believe there is some internal team friction over the Ricciardo move with-in RB.

RB have lost a huge talent, data source & role model to blood there driver with.

Horner seemed so bitter in the interview he even goes after Mark Webber in a hysterical Aussie hate fest interview. 😆

18

But wouldn’t any employer be upset when he has basically given in to every demand of his employee, only to be used as leverage to extract the maximum offer from a competitor. I know I would and I think every employer on this forum would.

19

It’s business. Hard business.

20

@ Hig8888 Don’t be naive. It happens all the time.Business is business. We only have Horner’s word that he was prepared to give Ricciardo everything he asked for. Given Horner’s propensity to twist things around i wouldn’t put too much faith in those utterances. That is my opinion.

21

But wouldn’t any employer be peeved when he has given in to basically all that an employee asked for and that employee used it as leverage to extract the maximum from another competitor? I think I would and any other employer on this board would.

22

Considering the comments published this morning where Horner strikes back at Ricciardo it now looks as though the next nine races will be fraught with tension. Horner has had the rug somewhat withdrawn from underneath him [ and Marko as well ] so it’s natural for this to occur. He has said that they gave Ricciardo everything he asked for! He claims that they have always had complete equality!! Just how bald faced can he be in the face of reality? Stating that the team will be built around the other side of the garage is ‘equality’ beggars belief. There are more examples that have already been exhibited. Red Bull are Red Faced and it shows. I guess that we’ll see equality right up until the last race..well , as a skeptic let’s wait and see. Hopefully Ricciardo will see fit to either put the record straight or else just race and do what he sees as the best strategy for an end of season flourish…if he can. I just can’t see Red Bull allowing Ricciardo to end the season winning the points race.

23

Ken

Some good thoughts there. After reading Horner’s latest statement to the press my initial reaction was oh, oh it’s going to be a very uncomfortable rest of the season for Dan and he won’t get the benefit of favorable strategy calls. After initially thanking Dan for his dedication to the team over the last eight years and wishing him all the best It seems that the dust has settled and the reality that Dan, a key asset, won’t be at the team has hit with a jolt. I can understand Horner’s disappointment however whether his latest comments are as a result of a need to tell RB’s side of the story or out of spite I don’t know.

I have always thought it irresponsible for Horner et, el to publicly proclaim that they are going to build the team around the 20 year old Verstappen. If there was a tipping factor that caused Dan to sign with Renault perhaps this was it.

24

Well, it’s been nearly a week, and it’s still a shocking development. I did believe that Renault was an option earlier this season, but I thought with the gap as it is, that it was no longer.

I hope Renault can make a big jump. It would be good to have Ricciardo and Hulk mixing it at the front. Hulk deserves an F1 podium after all these years.

I guess that Red Bull blaming both drivers for Baku was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That was clearly Max’s fault with the double move.

If this goes any way to getting Red Bull to realize that their tendency to favour one driver ultimately hurts them in the long run, then it’s a good thing.

I wonder whose car will fail more now? Ricciardo getting loose wheels, or Max’s engines blowing up?

25

KRB

If Renault can improve their chassis over the winter break, and if there is no more than parity between the RB and Renault PU’s, Renault may well be snapping at the heals of RB. I understand that Dan and the Hulk are friends and it would be good to see them both get on the podium, especially as you say the Hulkster. Two no BS guys.

Yes, agree, Max was to blame for Baku and that was the opinion of the respected Mark Hughes and Dan had to swallow it. This and RB saying that they were going to build the team around the 20 year old may have also been a factor in Dan not renewing with the team.

26

You have really hate Hulk, at first your prediction for the season that Sainz will lead him. Now allready call Ricciardo the leading driver. Maybe we can wait and see, as Kimi say, who knows, maybe Hulk will be leading driver at Renault.

27

Slightly off topic but does anyone know what happens to the Renault technicians who work with RB? Will Honda take any of them or will Renault veto that for reasons related to intectual property? If released they may face gardening leave I suppose.

28

If they got more from the same engine when at RB, maybe they’ll get a job supporting Dan at Renault

29

The Ricciardo case has shown us what’s real in F1: almost nothing. You have to believe that Vettel was far superior to Webber, that Hamilton equaled Alonso and almost surpassed him. It is the word of God that Senna was better than everyone else and therefore that Prost, the opposite is sacrilege. Just a couple of days with the “wingman” of Mercedes and the noise was turned off, also that Raikkonen has had “bad luck” with Ferrari strategies since the beginning of the season. We saw that when Ricciardo ran as a WDC candidate, since then he has been sinking in the rankings and has had quite a few frictions with Verstappen with the silence of Horner and Marko. Now is the answer. The important thing is to improve the image of the Dutchman and that has been achieved, and is back to being the great product it was. Because it’s an F1 product, not a driver. Buemi, Wehrlein, Vergne, Kvyat were not products, they were just fast drivers. A product is decided beforehand even if they pretend that there are opportunities for both sides of the garage. Charles Lecrerc is being modelled on a hypervitaminated Sauber and, with Ericsson playing as his comfortable partner, Hamilton entered F1 with his team’s promoter & McLaren owner through the big door; Verstappen went over the driver’s program just like he did on other cars. Of the three, the truth is that I’m left with the one who could win a championship without the support of the media and a whole team at his disposal: the Monegasque. Hamilton and Verstappen are very fast products with short term mentalities that desperately need a whole team to support them. Ricciardo is fast, CLEAN on track, friendly, well-mannered, constant, but not a product compared to the bad guy. The Australian has said NO and has deceived the fake F1, that full of experts who say that one is better than the other just because he is ahead or has won more titles. Ricciardo didn’t want to be the new Webber but the Circus will continue as if nothing had happened but in reality Daniel has shown us that the great business of F1 is not about great drivers but about great products.

30

As if on cue, Mark Hughes produces an article that goes over the 2007 machinations nicely:

https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/mph-red-bull-could-handle-alonsos-unfortunate-reputation

I still can’t believe that he asked Dennis to run Hamilton out of fuel in a race!! How low can ya get?!

31

Shhh… you’ll have some hired goons on your doorstep of you keep this up!

32

Hmm, so you buy what Sergio’s cooking? Right now, 18 others do. Sounds to me like a fantastical excuse to explain away any driver’s lack of success.

Sergio’s comment just exposes his conspiracy theory tendencies. There have been plenty others who’ve done the same here before. I can’t say it’s ever enhanced their credibility or standing afterwards.

So forget your goons or black helicopters … Sergio’s done their “job” all by himself.

33

Hamilton and Verstappen are very fast products with short term mentalities that desperately need a whole team to support them.

Yeah, Hamilton’s been a real flash in the pan for the last 11-and-a-half seasons.

34

Another great example for the data base…keep them coming…

35

I think Sergio’s description would be most apt for another certain driver’s career. The “chaos” bringer, as Horner said.

36

I’m not a banker, stock broker, financial adviser – a former graphics designer. Worked to embellish other peoples ideas and products. Well said. Ham, Vettel and Verstappen – they are product investments. RBR paid for Max in faith like all products are made – they are thought through in advance. Anyway, all the best to Ric. I hope it works out. Watch out LeClerc! Don’t become a product!

37

I get where your coming from.

There is absolutely no doubt in mind that Max and Lewis are great drivers and both very quick but it’s always felt like their greatness was decided before they had shown it. (TBF Lewis really hit the ground running though, great rookie year)

I’m not hating on them, it’s just the feeling I’ve got as ive seen their careers develop.

38

lol…interesting read Sergio, very original!

Honey badgers show there teeth and half smile when they growl….

#the smiling assassin!

39

Would love to know how many years this F1 outlook of yours took to formulate.

The good thing is that you’re coming out with it all now.

40

Talking about a driver being on a ‘piece of elastic’ is highly disrespectful and hardly likely to endear Sainz to Red Bull. Yes, he may owe his F1 career so far to them, but I expect his loyalty to be wearing thin when he approaches the end of his contract. Anyone for CS and MV round two?

41

It’s a bold move and one not without risk, but I can see why he’s made it. It’s very hard to win the world championship for a team in which you’re not the favoured driver. Just ask David Coulthard and Mark Webber.

Verstappen is clearly Red Bull’s golden boy. I can see why they’ve gone that way, but I think they may have made a mistake in favouring him so openly over Ricciardo. While Max undoubtedly has a little more ultimate speed in him, he’s still maturing and has experience to gain and rough edges to knock off. Ricciardo, at this point, has it all and is arguably the most well-rounded driver on the grid (it’s either him or Lewis IMO, as Lewis has done a lot to address his few weaknesses in recent years). Had Dan stayed and Red Bull turned out the fastest package next year then my money would be on Riccardo to take the championship on consistency and opportunism. However, the switch to Honda power makes that very unlikely until 2021 at least, by which time you’d expect Max to be eclipsing Dan.

The big question is whether Renault can deliver. This engine spec is in its fifth year and Renault have never caught up to Mercedes and Ferrari power-wise. Honda may even catch up to them next year. Ricciardo loses little by throwing his lot in with them, though. He’s already a multiple GP winner and you’d have to say his chances of stepping up and becoming champion are better as Renault’s number one than they are as Red Bull’s number two. He’s also only signed a two years contract, so if it doesn’t work out he might be able to get into a top team for the new engine spec in 2021. McLaren might even be recovering by then.

The biggest risk, as I see it, is that he doesn’t beat the perennially underrated Nico Hulkenberg by a big enough margin and that hurts his standing in the paddock. We’ve already seen that happen to Carlos Sainz to an extent and I have a nagging doubt that the Hulk might be a frontrunner in midfielder’s clothing.

42
Richard Mortimer

Good points Kenny.

Don’t think Red Bull really favoured one driver in a number one / number two sense. That was Mark W.’s jibe about being “not bad for a number two!”

DC was never in a championship winning position with RB. He was up against Mika at McL. Actually, that shows what happens when a driver gets a front-running car. DC and Mika were pretty equal before 1998. In fact a case could have been made for DC over Mika. Remember, the last GP of 1997 was gifted to MH, and was his first win? Then, suddenly, in 1998 he found that little bit extra. It’s like when the car has extra to find, some drivers find it.

I think Seb V is like that. When he has a dominant car, he blitzes everyone, including his team mate. But, in 2014 Dan R had the upper-hand.

So, the question is, if Renault can produce a championship winning car, would Nico or Daniel find that bit extra?

A move like this is always a gamble. Ultimately, you can’t really know. Valtteri came to Mercedes as Ferrari came to the fore.

Lewis saw Mercedes were coming up perhaps? That was an inspired move.

Fernando made a wrong move away from Ferrari and to McLaren.

Who knows if Honda and Renault can’t make big progress for next year? Right now, Honda actually looks to be making more progress, with Renault still struggling (even though the Renault is probably still the better engine overall).

But, if you went back to 1989 and the re-introduction of non-turbo engines, you would say they were the best 2 engine builders by far. By 1998 they had won 5 drivers titles apiece. But, just a few years later and Mercedes and Ferrari had the best engines! Things never stay the same….

43

If RBR didn’t have a #1 and #2 then how come their cars rarely finish together on the track? I suspect it’s not the drivers.

44

With NA engines Honda won the drivers’ title in 1989-91, then Renault won 1992-93 & 1995-97. A Ford Cosworth engine won in 1994 and a Mercedes in 1998.

So in that particular decade Renault took 5 titles while Honda took 3. Honda pulled out after 1992, while Renault pulled out after 1997, so it’s possible they could have swept it if they’d stayed.

45

You raise an interesting point Kenny…

Do drivers get faster as they get older? Sure they develop their craft with experience, but there must be a crossover point where they lose the exuberance of youth and gain a little caution. Massa has spoken about the impact of having a family, and i think Vettel seems a lot tmore cautious than he did when he was first in. I would estimate the 2008 Lewis is quicker than the 2018 version.

My point is that it’s not a given that Max will get faster…in fact he may have to slow down a bit to win more races…certainly to finish more anyway.

46

Some one find Max a girlfriend. True love. The end.

47

Good summary, and for the last point: Dan partnered, raced, and held himself against all the top drivers on the grid already. Max, Seb, and raced Vet, Ham, Bottas, Kimi in lesser car.

Being a top driver meaning you battle other top drivers. If car comes good, he’ll need to battle not just Hulk, but also Max, Seb and Ham, and other top ones as they come.

I have no concern, he won’t drop back, rather I think his motivation would lift him another notch. After all he’ll need to lift to race those above with a seemingly slower car (initially) to start.

48

Imagine if a couple of weeks ago somebody had written on this site that DR would have no option but to join Renault, the amount of ridicule they would have encountered would have been immense. What we now hear is that DR had been planning to move there all along and that it is the best thing he could have done. He outfoxed and snubbed the RB team by pretending that he would renew his contract with them. Now that he is leaving, the RB management are under heavy sedation and antidepressant. Really ? I think all the hypes about DR will be their number one driver at Renault and helping them and Hulk to enjoy podium finishes is a little premature. Maybe DR will bring success to Renault and I hope he does, but my overriding feeling is that we are not going to see any more Shoey for a very long time if ever. In a way no more shoey is a good thing as with drinking from a hot, filthy and sweaty shoe you run the risk of acquiring oral thrush; ask Martin Brundel

49

Somehow I struggle to understand why a (select online) people claiming to be Max fans, carry such grudge towards Ric, and consistently come up with the (wish you the worst) commentary.

In all Max career, past and future, you will find that Ric was the best teammate Max had ever had.

50

Glad for Ric. After some of the comments made in public, the arrogance of Dr Marko and RB coming out to say 2019 will be a building year, I don’t think he made the wrong decision.

I was hoping he would sign for Ferrari though. I have become a fan of Seb, but I must say he seems to drop the ball quite often and hate to say it, but I think Alonso would have come closer last year in the same car and would have been leading the points table so far this year. Just happens too often that he bins it when things really matter.

As far as Ric as Ferrari – There was a time when I thought Kimi was the fastest thing short of a rocket. But holy heck that guy bins it even more often than Vet and at crucial times. To think in all his time at Ferrari he has not won ONCE and his last pole was Monaco 2017. What any team needs is TWO drivers who can get in there. Yes, to an extent I agree on the no1 driver vibe, but if you look at Merc at least Bottas can stick it on pole when Lewis gets it wrong and even bag a win when the opportunity comes. Surely Bottas keeps Lewis honest to an extent. But Raikkonen seems so eratic that I think he gives Vet more breathing space than what he should.

Ric is consistent and reliable. Fast, cool guy who more often than not gets things done and is a monster racer and overtaker. There is the risk of the two rubbing each other up, but Vet and Ric in Ferrari’s would get the job done for the team and make for mega racing.

At Renault I think he can get there. Renault is on the up and will start challenging for podiums soon.

Suppose Ferrari will have to sign Alonso now…

51

@Iwan – “To think in all his time at Ferrari [Kimi] has not won ONCE “

Are you quite sure about that? Look up who Ferarri’s last World Driver’s Champion was, then check if your statement is completely accurate.

As for 2018, for Kimi to still be getting podiums, despite the team mostly throwing his strategy in the chipper, he must be doing something right.

52

Brilliant comment. I agree with all you’ve said. Kimi is no longer good. the longer he stays the more he ruins his reputation. Ferrari cannot handle both DanRic and Vettel. They are not equipped to handle good competing drivers. Even renault does it better.

53

Kimi is doing largely everything Ferrari are asking from him with 8 podiums so far and more points than Bottas. Could easily be 10 podiums out of 12 without the Bahrain blunder and mechanical DNF in Spain.

If the No.1 hadn’t crashed out in Germany they would be leading both championships.

It’s become very easy and lazy on here to say ‘if Dan Ric was at Ferrari they would march to easy championships’. No one knows what would happen.

IMO that would only apply if this current Ferrari was in fact a 2014 Red Bull.

54

This isn’t a big racing series, less than half the size of NASCAR. There are 20 cars, 6 of which are capable of winning a race, barring retirements, and 14 cars that carry advertising around the track and act as chicanes for the front 6.

So Ricciardo’s options were clearly limited.

Just when Dani Ric was being sold as the top passer in F1, he plowed into his teammate in Baku. The two of them are not far apart in performance, except by age, with Dani being closer to expiry than Max. His marketability window has shrunk. He might have sensed Max’s testosterone realized he’d be hard pressed beating him to a title. And he realized Mercedes is out, because Mercedes is locked up, and Ferrari has way too many up and comers on the bench. If Ferrari wins this Contructors championship, I’d bet Raikkonen will get one more year with Vettel, and Leclerc is far too new in F1 with far too little F1 experience to be getting the keys to the big red car just yet. One more year in a lower team for practice will suit him just fine. So Ricciardo really had one option to stay with Red Bull and duke it out with Verstappen in the third ranked car or try to get in on the ground floor of a works team called Renault.

Hulkenberg is a take-no-prisoners driver who owns the number 7 grid position. The odds of Ricciardo being able to outqualify Hulkenberg are probably slim to nil partly because Hulkenberg will again demonstrate why he’s one of the best drivers in F1.

I think Ricciardo has made a huge mistake moving to Renault. Given where Renault is this year, I’d bet the odds of Ricciardo even making it onto the podium next year are extremely remote.

Playing chess with your F1 seat most often doesn’t get you anywhere, just ask Alonso.

55

That is lots of salt.

Just a short reply to you.

Ric is the 3rd ranked driver on the grid in terms of wins today.

Next year, he’ll be 4th in term of pay, and if Alonso retires, he’d be 3rd.

Last point. Actual Max fans cheered Ric when he overtook Bottas last race. Take a leaf.

56

Ric is the 3rd ranked driver on the grid in terms of wins today

Eh? How d’you work that out? Off the top of my head I make him 5th on the list of GP wins – he’s behind Ham, Vet, Alo and Rai.

57

I guess he means in the last 5 seasons, of drivers still active. Or maybe just this season? Those are the only ways that it works.

58

You may well be right KRB – mental gymnastics trying to project a particular driver in a stronger light I guess.

59

Er, herm.. Good comment, just a little correction – Max ploughed in to Ric.

60

@ Craig…I think that Carlos Ghosn/jerome Stoll would both disagree with your comments….

61

Whatever your opinion is about RIC, I don’t think this move is ultimately what he (and fans) hoped for when he started thinking about his next move many months ago.

Sure Renault is a works team and RB aren’t, but the difference is still huge between them.

This year, both having the same engine, RB finishes an average of +35 seconds ahead of Renault. That is (must be) all chassis.

Even if the Honda isn‘t as fast, it is still a big gap to make up.

Everything might be different next year and I sure hope so for RIC, but things usually don’t change that fast in F1. But like everything…we will see.

But in the end this was his only option besides staying with RB, after it became clear that Mercedes and Ferrari didn’t feel the need to take him.

In the end I think they feel he is not (proved to be) better than their current driver(s).

Even after “beating” VET in 2014, Ferrari didn’t take him to replace VET.

Besides that, RB didn’t feel the need to give him an equal or better deal than VER.

What does that all say? How good is RIC? And don’t start about veto’s and hype(VER) because that is all BS. If RIC would be that good, those things wouldn’t matter one bit.

62

@ Andre…Horner has stated this morning that ‘They gave Ricciardo everything he asked for. That they offered him total equality with Verstappen…so where does that leave your comment where you said that ‘they didn’t feel the need to give him an equal or better deal than Verstappen ? Consider this…something that Renault offered was the clincher in the getting the deal done…it wasn’t simply a different coloured set of overalls or a company Megane.. your call.

63

Yes I read it too. My bad. The information I had at that moment was that he wasn’t offered the same as VER.

But it doesn’t surprise me. To me they are quite equal too. And RB made it clear many times that they would like him to stay.

The fact that RIC said it was the hardest decision in his whole life tells you how much trust or doubt he had in both offers. And in the end I think it’s the fresh start and works team that made him make this decision.

There are no guarantees. No one knows what happens next year. Will Renault improve significantly? How good will the RB/Honda be?

64

@ Andre….Red Bull stated that Verstappen was their prime focus last year. As James has said, he believed that that was a turning point, and i happen to agree. It’s something i have said repeatedly for quite some time. He had to get out of there. Horner ‘nailed his colours to the mast’ and virtually humiliated Ricciardo at the same time. He never rescinded those remarks and if anything he’s fortified his/their approach as exhibited in so many things since. Baku was a prime example. DR knew that his days as a contender were numbered. C’est la Vie. I just hope that Renault can get their ‘m***e’ together and give him a competitive car. If they can then DR will do the business for them. If not, then he at least will walk with a fistful and the knowledge that he gave it his best shot.

65

Daniel would have been second driver to Max in a car with a rotten engine .. can’t blame him for moving, Works Team and No1 status .. plus I’m sure a few extra £ in the pocket.

66

Isn’t the Renault a rotten engine too?

67

Ricciardo is making a very smart move.

68

He’s gone and done an Alonso.

69

We are 7 months away from the first race in ’19 and people are already making outrageous claims?

70

Kenneth, how long before this season started did you first say that Red Bull would prioritise Max over Dan, and that this would be the reason for any defeat for Ricci?

71

He could have done worse by signing with McLaren though.

72

Over 600 comments on a summer break story! Who would have thought that could happen!

73

Good move by Riccardo! He’ll be a leading driver assuming the role of a team leader (in broader sense), something necessary to match the experience and the achievements of F1 greats.

As for Red Bull, they need to wake up. They’re no longer title contender and replacing Renault with Honda drives them even further away from the front row. That makes them less attractive for talented drivers chasing the title. I’m afraid they’re entering a downward vicious spiral which will hold them for years.

74

Hi Ivan, and you forget that Renault are now in their 5th year of developing their power unit. Surely, next year must be the year they ‘re going to jump over Mercedes and Ferrari. Is there a anybody in this board who has any doubts over Cyril the wizard of Oz?

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