As Daniel Ricciardo leaves the Red Bull garage for the final time, it’s bound to throw up some memories of past times. Team boss Christian Horner rolled it back right to the start and revealed the decision to sign Ricciardo included doubt.
Horner doubted whether the Australian was the right man to make the step-up from Toro Rosso. Ironically, Horner was worried most about his ability to fight in battles. By the end of his tenure, Horner labelled Ricciardo as the overtaking king!
“When we had to replace Mark Webber, we were able to choose between Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen,” Horner told ESPN.
“Our biggest concern was not whether Daniel would have the pace, but whether he was actually able to perform in duels. During his time at Toro Rosso, we saw little of it, but since he was with the main team, he did nothing but catch up.”
“Meanwhile, many people think he is the best driver in terms of overtaking in Formula 1,” concluded Horner.
Ricciardo won seven races in the Red Bull cockpit, and most of those include a poor Saturday with the 29-year-old coming from nowhere!
However, despite 2 wins this season, he has had a torrid 2018. The Australian ended up with the most mechanical retirements in a single season.
But now, the ‘Honey Badger’ will be itching for a new challenge with Renault. Ricciardo will be partnering Nico Hulkenberg for the 2019 season.
Meanwhile, Red Bull’s target, Kimi Raikkonen, is racing for the Alfa Romeo-Sauber team. Their other target for Ricciardo’s replacement, Jean-Eric Vergne, is racing in Formula E. The Frenchman is doing fairly well for himself as he has won the season 4 championship. He was also the last driver to win a championship with the Gen 1 car.