Daniel Ricciardo has opened up on his decision to leave Red Bull and has denied it was partly due to the rise of Max Verstappen. The Australian shocked the world of Formula 1 when he announced he would be joining Renault at the end of this season when his contract with Red Bull expires.
The news came as a major surprise to Red Bull with team advisor Helmut Marko claiming he had informed them at the Hungarian Grand Prix he would be signing an extension, only to then change his mind.
Team principal Christian Horner has claimed he believes Ricciardo’s desire to leave was down to the improvement of team mate Verstappen, who has outperformed the 29-year-old on several occasions this season, threatening to replace him as Red Bull’s No.1 driver.
Ricciardo has now had his chance to address Horner’s claim, insisting Verstappen was not a factor in his exit, while he has also stated that he had not fallen out with Red Bull management.
“It’s not about Max, it’s not about the Honda thing, or Helmut [Marko] or anyone,” he told Sky F1.
“It’s really about moving on.”
He added: “There was no bad blood or falling out with anyone with the team, with the bosses or anyone at all.
“There was back and forth over the last few months. In the end the deal we had all come to a happy place with it, in the end it was up to me.”