News is breaking that Daniel Ricciardo is leaving Red Bull and has signed a two-year contract to drive for the Renault Formula 1 season for 2019/20.
Speaking about the move, Ricciardo said:
"It was probably one of the most difficult decisions to take in my career so far. But I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge. I realise that there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level but I have been impressed by their progression in only two years, and I know that each time Renault has been in the sport they eventually won. I hope to be able to help them in this journey and contribute on and off track."
A tweet from Red Bull confirmed the initial conjecture that a move was happening.
In moving to Renault, who currently supply Red Bull with power units, he joins Nico Hulkenberg, giving Red Bull the opportunity to retain Carlos Sainz, who has been on loan to them this season.
On leaving the team that he has been with for the last five years, Christian Horner said:
“We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future. 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."
Renault's interest in Ricciardo dates back to last year, when a complex arrangement between McLaren, Renault and Toro Rosso saw team switching engine supply and drivers shuffling around.
What do you think? Is Ricciardo better off switching to the Renault works team, or should he have stayed alongside Verstappen to compete in the Red Bull Honda?