It was announced on 4th August that Daniel Ricciardo would be leaving the Red Bull team and joining Renault for the 2019 F1 season. The very vehicle that Sebastian Vettel secured his second driver's title in, the Red Bull RB7 was also one of the most dominant Formula One cars ever made, having accumulated 18 pole positions and winning 12 of the 19 races that made up the 2011 Formula One World Championship.
Red Bull won four championships in a row with Renault between 2010 and 2013 but have since fallen out and Ricciardo's decision to stick with the French engines, despite his frustration over their performance, will sting.
"By far the toughest decision I've made in my racing career but twenty-nine years living on this earth, it was actually one of the toughest life decisions I've made".
"But I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge".
Renault has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will join its driver lineup from 2019.
Ricciardo, 29, and current teammate Max Verstappen are the only two drivers not named Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton to win a race in Formula 1 in 2018.
With that in mind, it appeared all but certain that one of the three would have Ricciardo in their side come the start of next season.
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"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.
Renault team president Jerome Stoll said the signing underlined their ambition: "Renault chose to come back to Formula One to fight for World Championships". Ricciardo will hope to replicate the success Hamilton has enjoyed in the years since, though it is by no means an easy feat, and he'll need to have a top-notch auto to begin with.
Sainz's real competition from within the Red Bull ranks is Pierre Gasly who has given a good account of himself in his first full season in the top-flight.
Horner summed up the situation for his team, "We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season".
Of course, Red Bull's competitiveness next year is by no means certain given they will switch to Honda power units, so at least he is now at a works team.