Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Hungaroring, 2018

Renault announces Ricciardo will replace Sainz alongside Hulkenberg

2019 F1 season

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Renault has confirmed Daniel Ricciardo will replace Carlos Sainz Jnr at the team in 2019, as RaceFans revealed earlier today.

Ricciardo will join Nico Hulkenberg at the team for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Renault Sport Racing president Jerome Stoll said signing Ricciardo is “a unique opportunity for the Groupe Renault towards this objective that could not be missed.”

“We welcome Daniel’s arrival to our team, still in the making, but more motivated than ever,” he added.

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said the team must prove it is worth of a driver of Ricciardo’s talent.

“Daniel’s signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport,” said Abiteboul.

“It is also a recognition of the work accomplished over the past two and a half seasons. Daniel’s undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team. We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best car possible. We welcome him to our growing team in 2019 with a great deal of pride, but also humility.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “Renault announces Ricciardo will replace Sainz alongside Hulkenberg”

  1. Alonso to RedBull?…

    1. I would love that, as I think many would. It would be an even bigger shock than Ricciardo leaving Red Bull, if Red Bull had the balls to team Max up with Fernando though.

      1. Or if Alonso can stand the competition where he’s not the contracted number one driver. Which for the record he can’t.

        1. He raced Button and Kimi in the same team???

          so for the record you know very little David

          1. Button and Kimi were/are great WINGMANS!!! If you know the meaning of this, then you would know why Alo may have raced alongside such people… which in other meaning, what @david-br meant :)

            so for the record you know very little q85

          2. It’s unclear what their status was given that his last year at Ferrari and first years at McLaren again were hardly in a competitive car. Ferrari came 4th in the constructors in 2014 (Raikkonen). As for McLaren in 2015 and 2016, no words necessary. At Red Bull he’d have the chance to actually win a race or two per season, presuming current form. But that would have to be shared with Verstappen. And on a level playing field, Verstappen would beat him. Maybe he’d still take the chance to be in a decent car. But would Red Bull risk a re-run of 2007 if results didn’t go Alonso’s way? Maybe we’ll find out.

          3. @mysticus I agree that was their probable status, but difficult to tell (i.e. no ‘Fernando is faster than you’ messages) given just how bad the cars were!

          4. @david-br
            “And on a level playing field, Verstappen would beat him.” we would see 2007 unfold all over again…

            A few things: Alo was interviewed some time ago, about him possibly racing along side Ham, would he be ok? He said/meant, since the past events, he claimed to have matured, and came to terms of better understanding of situations like that. But i doubt that, if he is given a good competitive car (a place next to ham at merc instead of rosberg) he would have been back to his oldself rapidly. When those F1 drivers get a taste of regular winning, their ego tend to change quickly… Given Alo’s history with radio messages, he wouldnt be very kind, doubt he would be as bad as Vettel though.. Vettel cracks under pressure like a NUT!
            So Alo, in a redbull next to max? i say very vocal/aggressive and implosive team dynamics would unfold in which team would have to make quick decission to boot one… I doubt it would be Max out the way first…
            Alo has been away and out of a really competitive car for so long, it is hard to predict how he would react to being in front row regularly…

    2. Imagine the duo of Helmut and Fernando.

      1. Imagine the awkward relationship RedBULL in with a Honda engine, after Alo dissed them publicly gazillion times! Not sure who would oppose the idea of Alo in a Red Bull, PR team from Reds or Honda CEO?

        1. I’m sure Honda will have a clause in their contract with Red Bull that discourages discouraging comments, just as it seems Renault currently use. If Fernando wants to drive for a team that discourages “GP2” comments, sitting on a deck chair in conspicuous places during a race, etc, then he’s going to have to change his driving style and bid his time or not have high reliability and not have lots of cash.

    3. Please, please, please, please, please!

      (We can dream!).

    4. No way. Why would Honda welcome him?

    5. Nope. Alonso has already had 2 chances to join Red Bull
      (he came closest to joining ahead of the 2008 season and had a more speculative look again before he rejoined McLaren for 2015), he won’t be going there now. Red Bull’s options are also pretty good. Gasly and Sainz are both strong drivers and they obviously have the hype machine to spearhead their attack.

    6. It won’t happen, but imagine if it did! Alonso vs Verstappen would be something else!

      1. Alonso can always use the too old card if he gets beat, but if he does beat Verstap (like I think he could) he’d further cement himself as the best driver since Schumacher!

        1. Yes, I think he would be able to beat verstappen on points and he’s the best driver since schumacher; verstappen would be faster but would make more mistakes.

      2. @burden93 I doubt it strongly, ALO can’t stand a competition inside a team, he needs a N° 2 driver to be able to shine, he will do nearly anything in order to win (Crashgate, qualy impeding on HAM…) nearly anything without feeling ashamed, he was destroyed by a rookie in 2007 (yes same number of point but against a rookie), at his age he will be simply obliterated by MAX who knows the team very well.

    7. I think maybe Sainz to red bull

    8. If Alonso moves to Red Bull, McLaren will automatically be WDC contenders next year.

      1. Yo I almost spit my drink up!!! Bruh!!! lol lol lol

  2. My predictions for the line-ups next season are:

    Mercedes: Hamilton & Bottas
    Ferrari: Vettel & Leclerc
    Red Bull: Verstappen & Gasly
    Renault: Ricciardo & Hulkenberg
    McLaren: Alonso & Sainz
    Haas: Magnussen & Grosjean
    Force India: Perez & Ocon
    Toro Rosso: Norris & Ticktum
    Sauber: Raikkonen & Ericsson
    Williams: Stroll and Kubica

    I don’t see Red Bull promoting Sainz over Gasly due to two reasons: his relationship with Verstappen and his fall-out (somewhat) with Helmut Marko over leaving Toro Rosso last season. Moreover, Red Bull don’t seem to rate him that highly, otherwise they’d have him in our of their main cars by now. Ferrari seem to be leaning towards signing Leclerc, but maybe Raikkonen’s recent performances may change that. Additionally, McLaren seem to be disappointed with Vandoorne’s performances, and with Sainz available, they may choose to go for him instead. If Haas don’t renew Grosjean’s contract, I can see Haas maybe becoming the McLaren-young-driver-rejects team with Vandoorne and Magnussen.

    1. I’m not sure Ticktum will have the superlicence points even if he wins the F3 championship.
      Though I’d agree with the rest of your predictions. Of course it depends on other things, eg Lawrence Stroll buying Force India, and whether Alonso and Raikkonen decide to retire.

      1. @hugh11, you are correct about Ticktum – even if he won the European Formula 3 title this year, he would still fall short of achieving the minimum number of points.

        The FIA downgraded the number of points that you could get for winning that championship from 40 points down to 30, and he earns no points for his 7th place finish in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup championship in 2017. His 4th place in the British Formula 3 series in 2016 earns him just 3 more points, and anything before that would be too far back in time to count (and, even if it did, wouldn’t add enough points anyway).

        Unless Red Bull found a way for him to double up in another championship that could earn him enough points – which seems unlikely at this time of year – Ticktum probably will have to spend at least one more year in junior series to earn enough points, meaning he’s unlikely to enter F1 until 2020 at the earliest.

    2. I think of all the drivers who will come up from the lower formulas, George Russell is in, ahem, ‘pole position’.

      1. @bealzbob I personally believe that Russell’s F1 promotion is dependant on whether Stroll leaves Williams (also known as if his daddy wants to buy him a new pink toy for Christmas). I don’t see Force India changing their lineup now that Ocon isn’t leaving for Renault, and I doubt Mercedes would loan him out to a rival team or someone associated with a rival team.

        1. Don’t get all this bitterness towards stroll. Guess it’s jealousy. What’s he meant to say… “No Dad, I don’t want to drive in F1. I don’t deserve it” ?
          So his Dad is rich?? Suck it up.
          Hes far from being the worst driver on the grid too.

          1. How is it jealousy? Stroll is in F1 purely based on his dad’s pockets, nothing to do with what he has achieved himself. I’m not saying that Stroll Jr. should reject his opportunity, why should he? But it’s disgusting to see someone climb the ladder purely based on money rather than talent. And to me, he is definitely the worst driver on the grid. He is untalented in the F1 world, and not a good racer either. The way he even lets cars a lap ahead through is also somewhat dangerous. The only thing he has is an ability to make positions on lap 1.

          2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
            3rd August 2018, 16:31

            Hes far from being the worst driver on the grid too.

            Who is worse?

        2. Highly likely the Stroll Force India scenario. Despite VJ’s consistent optimism. The For Sale is writ large over FI.
          Attractive proposition for Dad’s Billins too!

    3. Russell will be in F1 next year, that’s for certain and Toto almost guaranteed that. Norris is the one that can stay at F2 one more year.

      Haas will dump Grojean and Perez is likely to take his place. The remaining FI seat will go to Stroll or Russell. If Stroll goest to FI then Russell will go to Williams (and they will get a gearbox and a engine discount).

      1. @miani True, but I think we will likely see Norris in F1 next season purely because Toro Rosso needs drivers, and they don’t seem to have many promising ones on their books who are ready. Dan Ticktum may be one, but they held an interest in Norris earlier this year, and considering he’s a free agent after September (from what I’ve read), they might sign him.

        1. It would be nice if Camara had more luck I think he should be a contender on the Toro Rosso seat. But if he doesn’t recover to 3th in the champioship he will not have enough points. His partnership with Norris worked pretty well and he showed that he can be faster than the golden boy.

    4. I can’t believe Raikkonen would join Sauber again. If he won’t sign with Ferrari he is leaving the sport for sure. the last thing that bugs me is the Stroll and FI positions, if Lance moves will FI keep Perez or Seb?

  3. A bit wish-full thinking but it’s a spot in the top 3 maybe he take it!

  4. Well this came out of nowhere

  5. Well isn’t this a spicy meatball? It’s reminiscent of Hamilton leaving a winning McLaren for a non-winning but promising Mercedes at the end of 2012. Ricciardo’s quotes suggest he thinks something similar of Renault. In another way it’s good for Hulkenberg because if he can beat a known top driver in Danny Rick, then he might be looked upon more kindly for top drives in the future. At present he’s the nearly-man they won’t take a risk on. And finally the other obvious consequence is the opening up of a seat at the top table of F1. Whoever gets to partner Verstappen will at least have the opportunity to win races. Will they go the Gasly route, or will they bring in someone like Alonso to give Verstappen a taste of what’s required to reach the very top. Interesting.

  6. Although I now Hulk has contractual with Renault for next year, from the article I can not assume he will be un this team información 2019…

    1. Given that Hulkenberg welcomed his new teammate on twitter, he at least does seem to think he’ll be there! I’ll go with that for now @jamt ;)

      1. And that in Renault’s article they said Ricciardo would be partnering Hulkenberg.

        1. I see… I was hoping an agressive move from Ferrari as Leclerc is too young and Kimi is too old for that seat…

          I guess I was just dreaming…

  7. ncredible. Did not see that coming at all.

    You could see him in the last few races he wasn’t happy about something.

    I think deep down he didn’t have an answer for Verstappen.

    Surely RBR gave him little choice but to leave otherwise it’s a weak decision.

    I really hope Renault get it together.

    Verstappen in my mind is better than Ricciardo and that’s the main reason Ricciardo left, but we’re talking the smallest differences and on his day Ricciardo can compete with anyone. In fact, I think he’s better than Hamilton and Vettel.

    Hopefully Renault give him a car good enough to win a championship with but I don’t see it happening.

    Ricciardo vs Hulkenberg becomes the most interesting intra-team rivalry on the grid. Mouth watering proposition. What will it say about the Hulk if he can beat Ricciardo?

    1. You are saying Verstappen is better than Ric but Ric is better than Vettel and Hamilton? I don’t quite agree with that. Lol

    2. Ricci unhappy about something? Probably being paid half as much as Max while outscoring him on points hurts more than a little. Being in negotiation with RBR and hearing the equivalent to “we don’t care what you want” and having a NO from the grey’s and the reds might have all but forced his hand.

    3. Think Verstappen vs Ricciardo is such a hard one to call. In terms of raw speed in qualifying Verstappen clearly has a couple of tenths. In the races, Ricciardo seems to have something which separates him from the others (the being able to seize the moment ability). There’s obviously the Verstappen mistakes as well, which we’ll have to see whether its an age thing or his personality as a driver. I would say Ricciardo just edged it (personal opinion), but you definitely wouldn’t say no to having either in your team!

      +1 on Hulk vs Ricciardo, what a fight thats going to be!

      1. Bernie's Marzipan Gestator
        3rd August 2018, 17:33

        I’d add to that and say Ricciardo has an ability to pull off, out of nowhere, spectacular and flawlessly executed outbraking manoeuvres that are supposed to be impossible in the F1 of the last n years. He’s streets ahead of Verstappen in that regard.

        1. Daniel’s streets ahead unless Verstappen dummies back to the inside again, then he’s partially behind.

  8. I think Renault could have gone to Riccardo/Alonso eventhough HUL is a very solid driver he has never scored a podium. Of course if ALO doesn’t continue at F1 that’s much better line up for Renault than this years.

  9. Everything about this is good. Another team improves their lead driver. Renault join the big boys and show their intent. Red Bull get to promote from within. The only thing I’ll miss was the excellent in-team banter and rivalry.

    1. Let`s see who the lead driver will be. Another opportunity for the Hulk to prove himself.

  10. Not sure why comments are closed on the 2 Ricciardo articles so I will post it here.

    Very smart move of Ricciardo to move to Renault for 2 main reasons:
    1) Renault factory team has made lots of progress and I expect Ricciardo can do even better than Sainz & Hulkenberg.
    2) The only real viable option he had to become a #1 driver in a team, at Red Bull at best he would equal but certainly not a #1 driver.

    So I guess Ricciardo thought both Red Bull Honda and Renault Renault are gambles if they will be champions teams but at least at Renault I am the #1 driver.

    Renault signing Riccairdo is also a brilliant move as they get a race winning driver with a lots of knowledge of Red Bull chasis INCLUDING next year updates as Riccardio tested those this week.
    For me Riccardio was wrong to do that test as he knew he would be leaving Red Bull – he then should have been open towards Red Bull about him leaving.

    In terms of who should drive next to Max next year – not sure Gasly is better than Sainz but I would actually like to see Raikonnen next to Max.

    1. Raikonnen next to Max It’s getting strange as he drove against his father to be his teammate. But everyhing can happen now.

      1. Wouldn’t rush to put Dan as a number one driver.

  11. This is not a “I told you so” post
    I posted this on 29/06

    I have the same thoughts about Ricciardo but he is in the position to make the decision better than most. Lets wait and see. I can’t see the Honda powered RB taking up the challenge against Ferrari/Merc any more than the Renault RB combo can at the moment. Actually after Merc and Ferrari I would have thought Renault would have been a chance. If he does go with RB it may only be a 12 month contract.

    As has been said elsewhere it looks like the politics inside of RB may have been contributed to the decision.
    I think it is a positive move for Ricciardo at RBs expense.

  12. Agree it’s an excellent move for Renault. Disagree that he had to move out of Red Bull to be de facto number 1 driver. Rosberg at Mercedes showed it’s possible to have two ‘equal’ drivers competing for the championship – as Ferrari did too back in the Raikkonen/Massa days – and Red Bull seemed to be letting him compete equally, even if Verstappen was clearly their top choice for the future. He is faster. Surely they knew there was a good chance he’d leave, though, so they must have been OK with him doing the testing. Is it a good move for Ricciardo? Maybe not in terms of where he finishes in races, but on most other counts, probably so.

    1. C’mon, the leopard doesn’t change, it was Marko-Vettel-Webber all over again. He could have hung in there but will be relieved to be out of it.

      1. You (and others) write as though Ricciardo is an innocent bystander. Wasn’t he waiting to see if he could jump to Ferrari or Mercedes? Even if you’re right, you can hardly blame Red Bull for increasingly giving their backing to the already signed Verstappen. And given the 9 year age difference, they can’t be blamed for seeing him as the future either. But idle speculation of favouritism aside, there’s no evidence anyone has been favoured in any practical terms.

  13. This looks like the end of Carlos career. Pierre had already place himself in the right path to be promoted and I don’t think Carlos are willing to be back in 2nd team again.

    Carlos failed to beat a driver that no better than Perez. No team would take him unless he brought a lot sponsor money with him, something that no Red Bull academy drivers had. Daniel should beat Nico comfortably.

    1. Would be a shame for Carlos, another very good driver ruined by Red Bull, joining JEV and Buemi (and a few other okay ones). Though I think he’ll find a seat somewhere, and probably be a ‘journeyman’ similar to Perez and Hulkenberg.

      1. not ruined by red bull but himself. A rider has to be on top of his team mate or atleast very close which Sainz didn’t do

      2. No one ruined Sainz.

        Sainz came in with an arrogant attitude, has been beaten by Verstappen and now Hulkenberg. No reason to keep him.

    2. I think you underestimate Hulkenberg. I’m not so sure Daniel will be beating Nico comfortably. It will be quite evenly matched.
      But I think (fear) you’re right about Sainz. He’s a very good driver, but he has been beaten by a team mate twice now.

  14. Ballsy move for Ricciardo, hopefully pays out. As for the vacant seat at Red Bull, I thought that picking Sainz would be a no-brainer, so I’m a bit surprised that he doesn’t seem to be the obvious choice after all, for me he would be for sure, and would love to see their healthy rivalry with Verstappen at Toro Rosso to continue on a higher level. Although Gasly presented 2 standout performances this season, we shouldn’t forget that he and Hartley ended up at Toro Rosso only because Marko couldn’t find anyone else more promising, so I don’t see Gasly joining to Red Bull next year. As for Alonso, I think the team could manage him and Verstappen together, but I’m not sure Honda wouldn’t throw a big fat veto in the way of signing the Spaniard after three years of swearing at their engines on the team radio…

    1. They wont take Sainz who is equally talent as verstappen. They want to make him the winner.

      Honda would love to have Alonso, Now that Alonso realized the trouble was more with McLaren than Honda, he might be willing too. But again Having a strong competition to Alonso is not something Red Bull wants. if they offered a lesser package to Daniel than Verstappen, i am not sure what package they will give to Alonso.

      Gasley would move to Verstappen’s wingman position.

      I cannot forgive RedBull for mistreating Daniel. Ideally he should have been the No 1 at Red Bull and Max his wingman.

  15. Would like to see Verstappen/Gasly combo next year.

    As for Sainz, back to TR I guess. At least he’ll beat Hartley.

    1. Don’t think he’d want to go back to TR, there’s no point, he’d try everything to get elsewhere.

  16. Wow, I bet no one saw this coming. I definitely didn’t. It seemed so certain that he’d stay at Red Bull.

  17. Great move. Marko won’t let anything stand in the way of his little boy, so Danny is absolutely right to move on.

  18. Very much looking forward to Ricciardo vs Hulk next year

  19. Now this is good. Each engine has a top driver. Lewis for Mercedes, Seb for Ferrari, Max for Honda and Daniel for Renault. And also the manufacturer teams would the front running teams for each engine as well

  20. Ricciardo is one my Fav driver on the grid. I would cheer him anyday for a world Championship.

    Red Bull after all is a Soft drinks company targeting young crowd, so it is obvious that they want Verstappen but I believe is Ricciardo is a better talent than him. They purposely made Ricciardo No 2 driver. Just like Vettel-Webber scenario. Unlike Webber Ricciardo is much younger and has a better future out there. It is quite sad that Red Bull treated Ricciardo quite badly. The “unloved” word is quite appropriate. I honestly believe Renault move was the right thing to do. It is a works team. He is not making the same mistake like Webber. He is young, he is talented and he should create his own course rather than being a wingman to someone who is probably lesser talented than him.

    I believe that after Alonso, Ricciardo is the most rounded driver on the grid today. He just needs to make sure that he does not get into situation like that of Alonso where you are stuck with a bad car for a long time. Well again it has to do with Luck too. If lewis did not move to Mercedes he would have been in the same position as Alonso.

    All the Best Danny…. I will cheer you all way long.

    1. True, as long as mclaren evolved the same way, hamilton would’ve had a mclaren that got worse and worse had he remained there, and probably would’ve left for some other team but would’ve had troubles finding them given it’s harder to attract attention on a slow car.

      However, if like you said ricciardo doesn’t want to be stuck in a bad car, by definition leaving red bull for renault is a bad move!

  21. Good move for Renault, bad for Ric. I bet Hulk will crush Ricciardo.

  22. Yes, Hulk’s 147 starts without a podium will definitely crush Daniel. NOT!

  23. Wow and i thought Lorenzo moving to Repsol Honda was a bombshell. Now please can we have Alonso at RBR. I cant wait to see him in a Top 3 Car.

  24. Hulk + Ric makes a wonderful driver pairing. Not only they are fast, but they both look like very fair and likeable people; I mean, people that is easy to work with.

    The big question is: can Renault give them the car they deserve? I don’t trust Abiteboul too much, I still don’t understand how did they let Vasseur go.

    Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong.

  25. I like how Renault is really focusing on drivers and not taking someone ‘for the interim’ or saving money for development a la Williams. The Palmer period has really taught them a lesson, and good for them.

    As we’ve seen with Alonso this year, top drivers can haul a huge bag of points despite the car.

    Of course Sainz was no slouch, but Ricciardo is even more consistent and has a knack for getting the big results when chance arise, not to mention the Red Bull know-how.

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