Red Bull team boss Christian Horner did not mince his words when talking about Daniel Ricciardo. He believes that the former Red Bull driver moved to Renault to avoid a fight with his ex-teammate Max Verstappen.
When Ricciardo announced the move in 2018, it stunned many in the paddock, including his Red Bull teammates. However, the Australian F1 driver justified himself, saying that it was time for a change of scenery.
The 29-year old has penned a two-year deal with his new team. Now, it seems that early results at pre-season testing have left the driver feeling positive about the move.
The upcoming Netflix documentary Drive to Survive highlights this as one of many subjects to cover. There was even an interview with the Red Bull boss who bared his soul when speaking of Ricciardo.
‘Is he (Ricciardo) making the right career choice? My assumption is that he is running from a fight (with Max Verstappen),’ mused Horner.
During the course of the last two seasons, Rising star Verstappen has had the measure of Ricciardo. All this was despite the fact that the former has been prone to make mistakes and let his emotions get the better of him.
Ricciardo took a stab at Verstappen earlier with regard to this behaviour. This was especially when referring to his new Renault teammate Nico Hülkenberg. The Aussie was also relieved at reclaiming his position as the younger driver on the team.
‘I think (Hulkenberg) having done this so many years, I think that helps … There’s less risk of someone losing their mind,’ he said.
‘I think the way everyone is engaging with me has been positive and they are certainly trying to draw as much as they can out of me and to also see if Nico and myself are on the same page,’ Ricciardo explained.
Renault technical director Nick Chester was all praises for Ricciardo’s constructive feedback when developing the new car.
‘He is clear about what he wants from the car. He has fitted straight in, and his feedback is quite similar to Nico. So it makes it easy to set the car up.’