Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2018

Ricciardo quit Red Bull because he feared playing “support role” to Verstappen – Horner

2018 F1 season

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Daniel Ricciardo chose to leave the Formula 1 team because he was concerned he would end up playing a “support role” to team mate Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo stunned F1 last week by choosing to end his five-year stint at Red Bull and move to Renault for the 2019 F1 season.

“I guess in his mind he’s felt that after five years he feels he needs a new challenge, a new prospectus,” Horner told the F1 website. “I think that obviously he’s chosen to join the Renault team, that he feels they’re in the ascendancy. He knows the Renault product very well from all the time that he’s spent with us.

“And I can’t help but feel that he wants to be [in] a leading role perhaps in a smaller environment. The competition between he and Max is very intense. Max is growing stronger and stronger. And I think Daniel’s just decided that the timing is right for him to check out and try something else.”

Horner said Ricciardo and Verstappen have always had “equal status” at the team but he believes Verstappen’s improving form prompted Ricciardo’s decision.

“He sees Max growing and growing in terms of speed and strength and he doesn’t want to play a support role, I guess, for want of better words,” said Horner. “Not that they’re in any way treated in any way different.”

“I can’t but feel that was perhaps a large part of Daniel’s decision-making,” Horner added. “I could understand if it was to Ferrari or Mercedes. But it’s an enormous risk at his stage in his career.”

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Red Bull was prepared to meet all of Ricciardo’s contract demands, said Horner. “It’s been a bit like trying to convince a girl to go out with you, that’s being pretty reticent.”

“Daniel’s had conversations with Dietrich [Mateschitz, Red Bull owner], with Helmut [Marko, motorsport director], with myself. And we’ve bent over backwards to make it happen.

“But if someone’s heart’s not really in it. And it just felt like that. In the end of the day we gave Daniel everything that he wanted and asked for and it still wasn’t enough I think in his mind to say ‘I want to keep going at Red Bull’. It wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about status, it wasn’t about position or commitment or duration. I think he felt that ‘I need to take something else on at this stage in my career now’. It might be an inspired choice, it might be one that he regrets.”

Horner doubts Ricciardo’s decision was motivated by concerns about Honda, whose engines the teams will use next year.

“He knows the comparative performance of the two engines and reliability. We were even prepared to do a one-year agreement so he was available to Ferrari and Mercedes should they come knocking in 12 months’ time, because obviously they haven’t taken him up.”

Ricciardo made his decision during a flight to the USA and informed Horner in a telephone call last Thursday.

“I thought he was winding me up when he range me yesterday afternoon to say he’s going to Renault,” Horner admitted. “But it then became very clear that was his choice. You have to respect that. Renault are a growing team, they’re committing resource there. Maybe it’s an inspired choice.”

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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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125 comments on “Ricciardo quit Red Bull because he feared playing “support role” to Verstappen – Horner”

  1. And I can’t help but feel that he wants to be [in] a leading role perhaps in a smaller environment.

    Ooof. Bitter much, Christian?

    1. Ooof indeed. As far as ‘smaller environment’ Renault F1 will employee over 700 people by the end of 2018, while Red Bull employ around 600… While Renault-Nissan-Mitsubish alliance in the biggest automotive company in the world.

      1. Guess Honda had something to say too and they have a favorite driver too. Most likely Max. In the end it is all about the money.

      2. While Renault-Nissan-Mitsubish alliance in the biggest automotive company in the world.


        Not really. This fake news keeps popping up. Look at wikipedia for reality in this.

        1. Lol because Wikipedia is never wrong.

        2. erikje, actually, the question of which automotive manufacturer is the biggest in the world is extremely difficult to answer, since there are widely varying definitions of what vehicles could be classified under different commercial sectors.

          For example, earlier this year there was a debate over whether the VW Group or the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi was the largest automotive manufacturer because both parties quoted different production figures. The problem was that the VW Group announced a figure of 10.74 million vehicles, but that production total included the production figures of the VW Group’s heavy vehicles division, such as the HGV’s produced by Man trucks.

          By contrast, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance announced a slightly lower production total of 10.61 million, but they intentionally excluded heavy vehicles such as HGV’s from their production totals, instead only listing the production figures for “light vehicles” such as passenger cars or light trucks.

          That problem gets murkier still when you ask the question of what a “light vehicle” is exactly, because that isn’t always clear either – different nations have different definitions of what exactly is a passenger vehicle, what is a light commercial vehicle and so on (for example, in the US there are some SUVs that are officially classed as light trucks, and therefore fall under the commercial vehicle category, whilst others would be classified as passenger cars).

          With that in mind, it is plausible that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi probably is the largest manufacturer overall when you consider that they excluded some vehicles from their totals that the VW Group included in their totals, but it cannot be said with absolute certainty because of the way that the two manufacturers chose to quote their production figures.

          The situation is, in fact, quite a lot more complicated than the simplified picture that is presented in that Wikipedia article you refer to (the BBC does have a good article summarising why it is a harder job than it first appears to say who is actually the biggest

          Furthermore, the Wikipedia article is based on data from 2016 – the data for 2017 hasn’t been published yet – so it’s currently two years behind what is happening now. The picture is muddied further when there are slight discrepancies between what the manufacturers announce and what independent estimates are.

          For example, Toyota stated that their production figures for 2016 came to 10.18 million vehicles, whereas the OICA (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles) suggested the slightly higher figure of 10.21 million in that Wikipedia article.

          Meanwhile, according to the OICA, the VW Group only made 10.13 million vehicles in 2016, which would put it behind Toyota – however, the VW Group claimed that their production figures for 2016 were actually 10.31 million, which put them slightly ahead of Toyota.

          As I noted earlier, since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi seems to be using a definition which probably slightly underestimates their figures, it is plausible that they are probably the largest manufacturer. However, there is probably enough ambiguity that you could probably make an argument for Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the VW Group and Toyota (none of that ambiguity being captured in the Wikipedia article, which is a bit too simplistic).

          1. Lol. I’ll settle for ‘one of the biggest automotive companies in the world’.

    2. Sonny Crockett
      9th August 2018, 20:22

      Just when I was warming to RBR they lose the most charismatic driver on the grid.

      Max might be a racer but Ricciardo is the full package. Talent plus he’s a PR dream.

      As for Horner: you might judge him for walking away from his wife and young children. If you’d prefer to put that to one side then judge him by his words. It won’t improve your opinion of him.

      1. What an absolutely ridiculous comment to make about Horner on an F1 site.

  2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    8th August 2018, 22:42

    “Not that they’re in any way treated in any way different.”

    Yeah, just like Webber and Vettel were given equal treatment…

    1. Too true. Either he’s delusional or lying. I would have a lot more respect for Horner – and I have zero respect for Marko – if they just admitted what everyone can clearly see: RB has always had a de facto #1 driver.

      1. In 2016 when Max came in halfway the season, Ricciardo surely got te prefered strategy in some races.
        Germany, though Verstappen was leading, they put Ricciardo in front by strategy in order to score maximum points to get RBR ahead of the Ferrari’s in the constructors championship. Another few examples where quali at (the wet) Austrian GP, quali in Baku after a red flag (Lewis crash).

        In 2017 there’s was Monaco, though RBR made a perfect dicision to score maximum points.
        Further in 2017 and 2018 there hasn’t been any single occassion that favoured one driver over the other, with the crash in Baku as a terrible proof

    2. Roland Grant
      9th August 2018, 9:52

      Look at the way Red Bull apportioned equal blame to Verstappen and Ricciardo for the Baku crash. It was clearly Max’s fault, a product of his tendency to make dangerous late moves (just like he did to Raikkonen at Hungary and Belgium ’16), yet the team refused to apportion blame to either party. It reminded me of Turkey ’10, when RB and Marko pinned the blame on Webber when Vettel was at least 90% to blame. I think it may have been deja vu for Daniel, prompting him to quit before any overt favouritism took hold. Maybe he sensed a shifting of the tide (or at least in the provision of latest-spec front wings) and saw the writing on the wall?

      It could be a smarter move than others are suggesting.

      1. I suggest to listen to the whole interview with Christian. The Webber/Vettel period is extensively spoken about. Christian makes clear that this incident was a result of a much longer story and Webber was not the honest schoolboy you think he was.

        1. I like Horner but he’s a natural spin doctor

    3. Excacly my thought @Vettel fan 17. So gladd that he didn’t stay at RBR. Happend to Seb too in 2014 on a few occasions.

  3. I don’t blame Daniel. In the short term Red Bull aren’t going to win championships either. Moving to Renault isn’t a totally crazy bet, they have always been a strong team that’s just rebuilding itself. Plus no one knows ultimately how long Red Bull is going to stay in F1, there have been all kinds of rumours in the past about their future.

    It was now or never for Ricciardo.

    1. It was now or never for Ricciardo.

      Or take the one year deal they offered.
      I think it makes a lot of sense what Horner said. He clearly feels a bit let down, but is ready to move on with the next best driver.

      1. I thought it was Ricciardo that wanted the 1 year deal, but Red Bull wanted him to commit for longer?

      2. The Dolphins
        9th August 2018, 2:05

        I imagine the one year offer was not a very attractive one in terms of compensation. They say you can have anything but you can’t have everything. Daniel made the right choice given his options and chances are his opportunity to win championships might stay the same but the amount of BS he’ll deal with from his team will be lower than at Red Bull and his compensation will be much better.

        1. It can’t have helped that Red Bull keep threatening to pull out of F1 surely? Although I don’t seriously expect them to leave.

          1. like Mercedes and ferrari?
            Then,… when only Renault is left over RIC will have a chance .

  4. In his shoes I’d wait until the end of the season to say stuff like that, even if I really did think it. Dropping a few bitter digs about a driver who’ll be sat in one of your cars in a few weeks strikes me as a little bit odd.

    1. It would only really be bitter if it was untrue, and it all seems fairly plausible to me. Red Bull offered Ricciardo everything except protection from Verstappen’s pace and on-track aggressive racing. As senior driver with the team for many years Ricciardo might have expected more, but that would have meant Red Bull holding Verstappen back to keep Ricciardo happy. They didn’t want to and certainly that means that the team will be less effective with Ricciardo gone, given the available replacements. So some annoyance from Horner might be understandable – expressed in him telling it as it is without much concern for Ricciardo’s feelings. Horner may even think a bit of provocation for Ricciardo to prove himself will get better results than him spending the second half of the season with little to motivate him.

      1. Yes, maybe it is to motivate Ricciardo, but maybe it is also to save face for Red Bull. Dan is a popular driver and he has just snubbed RB for Renault. That has to sting.

        Daniel has been a gold mine for RB in the PR world, and they know it. He CAN drive, and likely could win a championship given the car and circumstances, but he is undoubtedly the best at the media stuff. Max has learnt a lot from him in this arena, although I wonder how he will go without the influence of Dan’s grin beside him.

        1. I agree. Fact is that if Ricciardo wasn’t as good as he is, he’d more than likely have stayed as ‘support driver’ in a leading team. He is good enough to lead a team, but a bit slower than VER, who is probably a once in a generation driver, so that generates the problem.

          1. David BR
            That again. From memory Riccardo finished ahead of Max last year in the points, and is ahead this year too. I fully except him to maintain that too. True, Max is the much more aggressive driver, but, at the end of that day, points on the board are what RB get paid on. By that measure, Riccardo is clearly the better package driver. Of course, Max will get better with experience and age.

  5. “He sees Max growing and growing in terms of speed and strength and he doesn’t want to play a support role, I guess, for want of better words,” said Horner. “Not that they’re in any way treated in any way different.”
    As is his custom Horner continues to believe that fans of formula 1 are stupid.
    From the minute 1 that Crash Max set foot in Red Bul was treated preferentially, and that is something that everyone knows in the paddock, in the Red Bull factory and in the grandstands.
    Good move from Ricciardo.

    1. As is his custom Horner continues to believe that fans of formula 1 are stupid.

      It’s not real fans but just a few disgruntled commenters who are stupid.
      Maybe you should visit a doctor to treat your obsessive hate against Max and Alonso :P

    2. Disclosure: I am a fan of Daniel. I love his approach, his (mostly) easygoing demeanour, and his “crazy-good” overtakes.

      That said, I can only think of a single occasion on which he was treated less favourably than Max (Max’s first win in Spain). Would that continue? Who knows, but I cannot find any evidence to support the assertion that “Max… was treated preferentially” by Red Bull.

      @jorge-lardone – can you provide any evidence?

      1. In Spain 2016 it wasn’t sure the tires would last. Max’s tires held out – just. Daniel was already complaining about tire deg before the first stop. So the strategy mage sense at the time.
        Max would not have won if Seb would have covered him. But Ferrari chose to pit him early to cover Daniel.
        Seb was to cover Daniel, the experienced and more dangerous driver even if Max had been the first to pit.
        Red Bull did not really favor Max at that race. They just did what they thought was best for each driver.

        Just like Red Bull did not favor Daniel in Monaco 2017, where they chose to pit Max early even though his UltraSofts could easily have lasted 20 more laps; and Bottas followed suit to stay ahead of Max. Then Ricciardo stayed out and effortlessly sailed past both utilizing the superior grip of his UltraSofts to extend the gap beyond the pit stop window, as was to be expected. But it wasn’t meant to specifically help Daniel, even thought it worked out like that; RB just wanted to get the best overall result for the team.

        Decisions made by the team do often favor one driver, but there was no bias towards either driver, no intention to get one ahead of the other.

    3. Well, we can at least establish your not a F1 fan.

  6. Think it’s a good move. I don’t think any driver believes he’s not as good as the guy next to him. These guys seem to have pretty solid egos.
    Don’t expect too much from Redbull for the rest of the year Dan. Good luck at Renault next year.
    Will Max be relied on to take a senior role in setting the cars up next year?
    Be interesting to see how he goes with a different team mate, cause I honestly think both Max and Dan get on well.
    Hope both Dan and Max put on some good races next year.

    1. Ricciardo will be going flat out the next 9 races to beat Max. He now has enormous motivation – impress Renault, his fans, and demoralize Max. Team orders won’t work – if Dan doesn’t listen are they going to fire him? And they can’t openly sabotage his races, can they?

      1. so the next 9 races will show the real RIC then.. can’t wait ;)

        1. The real RIC’s already leading Max in points, and doubtless he intends to end the year still further ahead. Should be fun to watch.

          1. But Dans just been lucky to keep beating Max in the points. Max is soo much goeder.

  7. Now the challenge for RBR is to replace Ricciardo with someone who has his speed and driving craft, but perhaps less top driver ambitions? Plus someone who will tolerate Max Verstappen a bit better.

    I reckon Brendon Hartley might be due for a promotion…

    1. I really don’t think Hartley is in favour at Red Bull. He’d be gone already only for their incoming stream of talent has dried up.

      Would love to see Jean Eric Vergne getting a shot. He was very close with Ricciardo during their time together, and we know how well Dan has gone on to do.

      1. I was sort of thinking about that, but I decided against posting that. Who’s the next Red Bull junior talent?

        A cursory glance at F2 and we see Russell (Merc), Norris (Mclaren), Markelov (Renault), Fuoco (Ferrari). Dan Ticktum isn’t lighting up at GP3. Perhaps it was truly an anomaly that a factory line of drivers was coming out of Red Bull’s academy, causing a logjam wherein good drivers were turfed out for little reason.

    2. woooaaaahhhh……..Raikkonen???

    3. Interesting, I though Daniel “tolerated” Max very very well, unusually so for different sides off the garage.

  8. Ever since the treatment Webber got I always did feel like RedBull tend to always favour whoever their current “wonderkid” is, lets be honest if any other driver had made the amount of mistakes or crashes Max has caused or been involved in the last few seasons they would have been long gone. -cough Kvyat- The fact Max never even looked remotely in danger of losing his seat in a team that has a history of giving drivers that mess up or don’t perform the boot speaks for itself. Daniel made the right move

    1. The answer is in the question.

      Max can make more mistakes because he has more potential than Kvyat, not because Helmut Marko likes the cooking of Max’s mother.

      The better you are at ANYTHING, the more talent you have, the more patience people will have with you.

    2. As Brundle explained, Verstappen drives 99% on the limits, being that close to the limits is taking a risk, though he’s also 70+% of all laps in front of his team mate with better potential to score more points.

      In 2017 reliability issues have played a large part in the outcome, a certain group of Ricciardo fan will always refer to him scoring points, though all statistics proove Verstappen clearly had the upper hand. Apart from Hunagry Verstappen made no real mistakes in 2017.

      In 2018 the start of the season has been a bit rough, mistakes in Australia cost him a few positions, China cost him the win, Monaco cost him quali. Bahrain and Baku zero points due to incidents wich Verstappen was just partially to blame for. Though in the other races Max scored 3 – 3 – 2 – 1 – 4 leaving his team mate with just 2 podiums.
      Max potential is enormous, team bosses know that and Ricciardo knows he can not keep up (hence the quali 9-1).

      Sure Kvyat comes to mind, but Kvyat did have a bigger problem, he could not cope with the pressure being at the RBR team, I kind of felt sorry for him as he’s basicly a very good driver.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        12th August 2018, 13:29

        The problem is though we’ll never know what would have happened if Red Bull hadn’t demoted him to Toro Rosso. It is entirely possible if they hadn’t he could have won the Spanish GP instead of Max

  9. Who would want to be VES’s bitch…. SAI no way, so looks like GAS, they just want a number 2 driver anyway.

    I feel the happy go lucky dynamic at RB will sour with RIC gone.

  10. Don’t you just love it when ex employers always trash talk their best people when they move on .
    Dan’s raced his nuts off this year and every other year and brought home the points while Max spent his time learning that he’s not driving PlayStation
    Horner would do well to remind himself of the Monaco 2017 stuff up that robbed Dan of the win.

    1. Monaco 2017 RIC came in 3rd by overcutting Max and Bottas. You probably mean 2016

      1. Yep ,my bad

  11. It’s been a bit like trying to convince a girl to go out with you, that’s being pretty reticent.

    Ouch, sour, bitter, obviously still a bit fresh for him to be talking like that…

    In the end of the day we gave Daniel everything that he wanted and asked for and it still wasn’t enough I think in his mind to say ‘I want to keep going at Red Bull’.

    In the context of this quote, I can really see why Austria went the way it did. It’s one thing for Red Bull to say in meetings that they will bend over backwards for you, and give you everything you want. But when you ask for something on track, one of 3 runs with a tow (regardless of the week by week qually swap it makes sense to get the best result for the team), and they don’t give it to you… Actions speak louder than words right?

    In the end of the day we gave Daniel everything that he wanted and asked for and it still wasn’t enough I think in his mind to say ‘I want to keep going at Red Bull’. It wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about status, it wasn’t about position or commitment or duration.

    He’s simply lying here, either to himself, or to the world… It is about status and they couldn’t give Ricciardo what he needed.

    1. Not quite sure I agree with your view on Austria @skipgamer (it would still have consequences for that strategy at different tracks where there were less chances). But surely these words are exactly the kind of thing that would drive a driver in Daniels position away yeah.

      Funny how Horner, by trying to somehow make his own driver look stupid for not taking their offer exposes exactly what is missing at Red Bull (compare McLaren saying they didn’t understand, and didn’t think it was a good step but admitted that it was Lewis choice to make). After 5 years of being at the team, you just cannot count on their loyalty unless you are the current “chosen one”.
      Also, i think the part where Horner mentions out of the blue that this was not to do with the Honda engine points to how much there is well founded doubt about Honda. I don’t agree at all that the engine choice had nothing to do with his choice

  12. So he happens to be in the states now as well, but apparently not in the NYC area, where I am.

    1. And that’s important because?

  13. I imagine Ricciardo was rather tired of the Red Bull environment. The battle with Verstappen has been the tightest on the grid for the last two years – these two are extracting about as much as it looks the car can get out. It shows, and it’s no surprise they’re usually within a tenth of a second of each other in qualifying.

    Red Bull weren’t afraid of showing who their preference was for the moment Max came into the team. It was very unfortunate for Ricciardo that at Spain 2016 the team chucked him, the race leader, onto the slower strategy – a decision that ultimately promoted Verstappen to the win and bumped Ricciardo off the podium. The drivers may get equal opportunity on the racetrack, but emotionally Red Bull has obviously been in one camp more than the other.

    I expect he was tired of being in a team that apportions equal blame on drivers in a crash even if the facts presented show that one driver should be condemned for his actions. Ricciardo was told off by the team for being visibly frustrated with Max after he drove into him in Hungary 2017, and the team said both drivers were equally at fault for the crash in Baku this year. When you’re trying your best to assert yourself as the team leader – and winning the points battle for several years – I imagine such a mentality starts to hit your desire to work with the group.

    Ricciardo might have been the best driver Verstappen ever goes up against, and Verstappen might be the best driver Ricciardo ever goes up against. Hopefully later in their careers they can end up again in the same squad.

    1. I like this analysis and in particular the last part. In terms of their future team mates I think it’s probably going to be true.

      It will be very interesting to see how Max and the team fare without Daniel’s input to the team. I expect his replacement will be Gasly but I wouldn’t be sure. There are often surprises in F1 which no one sees coming. I don’t think it will be somone nearer the end of their careers though.

    2. I think when RB talk about parity with their drivers but one (the newest on the grid) walks in a gets paid substantially more than the incumbent driver, you know they don’t mean what they say.

    3. There’s very large ‘I am small and you are big’ facor (we like to refer to as the Calimero-effect) in your analyses.

      Verstappen won in Spain 2016, Ricciardo should have…. why..? Verstappen did have more potential speed being behind Ricciardo (first race in the RBR). Ricciardo and Vettel where on the better strategy but lost precious time fighting each other, going of track, getting a puncture and finishing far behind the nummbers 1 and 2. The 2-stopper wasn;t slower, it was a close call either way, but both Ricciardo and Vettel had their selves to blame for rough racing.

      At Baku Ricciardo started in front of Verstappen…being overtaken twice in one race by your team mate can’t be a good thing. Sure Verstappen played it hard, but Ricciardo kind of looked a bit desperate making that impossible move….mostly fueled by his personal race-engineer. RBR should not have let the drivers played it this hard, trying to be the leader of the pact played a role in the outcome.

      Blaming the team for Ricciardo not feeling at home, to me seems like looking for excuses…all he has to do is driver faster and problems will get behind you….

      1. Passing Verstappen will always appear as an “impossible move” because he always makes dangerous moves, especially under braking on a passing car. Max has very little regard for the cars around him. I don’t know if it stems from his ego or his inexperience, but I find. It hard to believe he was always an open wheel driver the amount of risk he takes.

        Max is so talented, but it’s hard to root for him. You can give drivers respect and still win with his talent. The max of Brazil 2016 is sorely missed.

  14. I can sort of understand Horner’s frustration given I think they thought it was all sorted out and my guess is that they did indeed give in on everything he asked for.

    At the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that Dan wasn’t satisfied that RBR will be competing for the WDC in the next few years. That would be either because he doesn’t trust that the Honda PU will be enough or that he doesn’t really trust that the drivers will be treated equally.

    There are plenty of ways to favour 1 driver over another without making it too obvious, and this year, there’s even been some rather obvious ones so I suspect his mistrust is not exactly unwarranted.

    What we don’t know is what Renault have up their sleeves – I still suspect that there may be some details we don’t know that may have tipped him in their favour rather than any lack of anything from RBR.

    Can’t wait to see him and Max going wheel to wheel in different teams – that should be entertaining.

  15. Sounds very bitter about the whole thing. But that’s what you get when you play favourites. RB may regret losing someone of Riccardios calibre.

    1. You sound bitter about the whole thing, and RB will not regret anything as they did everything they could to hang on to DR.

      1. Do you know something we don’t? How is paying the most experienced, consistent, highest points scoring, naturally charming driver substantially less than an unproven, crash prone, inconsistent, firecracker that is Verstappen?

  16. I think Christian is right and that is why Ricciardo’s move makes sense.

    Verstappen is becoming faster and that is going to harm Ricciardo’s reputation. Ricciardo is the number 1 Renault driver next year and that is a good position to be in.

  17. He knows the Renault product very well from all the time that he’s spent with us


    1. My favourite bit.

  18. If Horners remarks mirror the attitude and team culture of RB towards Ricciardo, no wonder he is leaving.
    Horner could have said, we respect Danials decision and wish him all the luck at Renault.
    But no, he made a couple of snyde remarks about Ricciardo, implying that he is scared of Verstappen and he is running away. Also the the need to become the big fish in the small pond reference was just plain spiteful. I pitty the driver who takes Ricciardos place next yr.

    1. +1 Can’t believe what I am reading. Again a sign of weak leadership. Same story as how they manage their Renault relationship. Very unprofessional. Worrying stuff at this level of autosport.

      1. @johnrkh @mayrton Actually Horner’s first remarks were exactly as you suggest they should have been. See Keith’s article on this site from August 3 where Red Bull confirms DR’s departure. Horner is exactly as diplomatic as you claim he is not. So…certainly not an attitude nor a leadership issue. Try inventing something else to complain about.

        1. @robbie It’s not so much a complaint as a worry. Leadership would state to ask RIC about his motivation, not to speculate while kicking in your employees and a competitors direction. There is no need to answer the question in such detail, no need to be bitter/smart/mean. And it is not the first time he/RB is doing it. Maybe it provides us a slight insight on why the team has been so unsuccessful in recent years. Maybe leadership is missing

          1. @mayrton I simply disagree that he is being mean, but yeah there’s a few digs in there too. Why not? He’s subtly suggesting good luck with Renault in a mildly sarcastic way, and that is consistent with how the relationship has gone with Renault that we have all witnessed over recent years. So no real surprise. Otherwise, he’s quite diplomatic given that they offered DR everything he wanted and it is DR that has chosen Renault. I think Horner has now said exactly what we should have expected, after being extremely diplomatic last week on first blush of the news.

            And the leadership hasn’t changed since they won 4 in a row, so you have no need to worry there, but what did change was Renault’s relative strength amongst the competition once F1 switched to the current hybrid format.

  19. I think Horner is a little bit bitter and I understand him. RIC kept him waiting for so long they give in to all reasonable demands and finally he told he wanted to stay. They even recorded the video in which he says he’s going to stay.

    And then he goes off to Renault.

    I’d be irritated as well.

    1. Irritated? Fair. But you are the team principle. Play your position and be professional about it.

      1. But if he’s not lying, he’s not doing anything wrong imho.

        So why isn’t this professional? Because RIC might not like it?

        1. @anunaki No, it’s because @mayrton mistakenly believes these are CH’s first comments about DR leaving, and that the more professional thing to do would have been for CH to respect DR’s decision and thank him for his service…which he did on August 3 when the team announced DR’s decision.

          1. which he did on August 3 when the team announced DR’s decision.

            Then he proceeded to sink to the level of a hurt child who was told he can’t have what he wants so he resorts to name calling.
            That is unprofessional!

          2. @johnrkh Name calling? We must have read different articles because I can’t see it. But keep reaching.

          3. I suppose the orange tint clouds your vision :))
            Oh and still you have not answered my question. What will your excuse be for Verstappen if he is beaten again next yr by his team mate?
            Oh and before I go…Verstappens chances of beating Ricciardo this yr have just gone up exponentially. As I would expect the RB ‘management’ will expedite the favouritism already shown to Verstappens side of the garage.
            I would expect you to be really happy, so lose that long face mate it’s all good for the young fella from here. :)))

          4. @johnrkh Considering that Max is not being beaten on pace by DR this year, and may well also beat him on points simply because that has been the trend since Monaco, well before DR’s decision, why would I entertain Max being beaten next year? And…long face? Hardly. I’m thrilled for how it is going for Max right now, and I’m excited to see what DR will do at Renault. It’s all good. Too bad you have to come across as childish and petty about it.

          5. Btw, you haven’t answered my question…what name calling?

          6. @johnrkh reading the statements

            Green Flag (@greenflag)
            9th August 2018, 18:40

            Ricciardo will be going flat out the next 9 races to beat Max. He now has enormous motivation – impress Renault, his fans, and demoralize Max. Team orders won’t work – if Dan doesn’t listen are they going to fire him? And they can’t openly sabotage his races, can they?

            so now we will see the real RIC.. he has nothing to lose and everything to win.
            if your teammate beats you in Quali like VER does with 0.6sec difference.. it will be hard to swallow.

  20. Maybe Dan just wants to wake up every day and know what engine’s gonna be in his car.

  21. I can understand some of Christian’s thinking, but really currently there’s only a small chance for the driver of a Honda powered car getting a podium place in F1 in 2019 … mind you one could say the same about a Renault car as well.
    So really the question for Daniel is could a Renault car be better than a Honda powered RBR car. We’ll only know at the end of the 2019 season.

    1. I suppose we’ll know at the first race if recent seasons are anything to go by: if renault is 1 sec behind red bull the first qualifying, ricciardo made a bad move at least for 2019, they won’t catch up such a gap.

  22. Ricciardo is around a decade at RB, Horner and Dan must know each other very very good, though Horners word may sound a bit harsh, it can’t be far of the truth… especially considering RB willing to agree with all terms.

    Considering RB even offered Dan a one-year-deal so he could be available in 2020 when Verstappen, Vettel, Raikkonen (?) Hamilton and Bottas also end their contracts seems to me he’s really afraid being in the shadow of Verstappen, but now he will be under contract when the big shuffle comes….. I can simply not understand that choice.

    Frustrations boiled up after the Hungary crash last season, pretty understandable, but his words after the Baku crash “let the fans decide” while RBR took a completely different approach was doubtfull. At the Spanish GP Ricciardo followed Verstappen on track who was stuck beind (a slower) Raikkonen…. Ricciardo came on the radio “I think I have better pace” trying to leap frog in front of Verstappen was either being over confident or desperate… spinning twice and finishing far behind his team mate makes me think the latter.

    To me it seems to only factor keeping Ricciardo at RB would be to sack Verstappen….

    Ricciardo choosing for Renault and expecting to be their #1 driver instantly, is ruling out Hulkenberg.
    Hulkenberg though has been prooven stronger than both Perez and Sainz in both quali and races…. expecting to outqualify Hulkenberg is just being naive. I can’t see the good in this career move apart from the money.

    1. To me it seems to only factor keeping Ricciardo at RB would be to sack Verstappen….

      Given that RB wanted to keep Ricciardo and Daniel decided to leave, I don’t understand this sentence. RB wanted to sack Max and now are annoyed because they can’t?

      1. RB wanted to keep both Verstappen and Ricciardo, two different personalities with a different approach, one being fast and aggressive, the other being more conservative. For RBR the strongest pair so far.

        Though apparently, no matter the offer from RB, Ricciardo wants to leave.
        This confirmes Horners words… Ricciardo doesn’t want to be a support driver for Verstappen who’s clearly the faster driver of the pair.

      2. @x303
        You didn’t understand that sentence bc it doesn’t make sense. It will however if you take into consideration that Matn is an orange FBoy who keeps on misrepresenting facts.

    2. @ Matn at last someone mentions what I have been thinking all along. How come everybody just ignores Hulkenberg?
      What about his feelings when his new team mate earns an awful lot of money more than he does. And this team mate seems to claim the number 1 position in the team?
      True, Hulkenberg never had a podium but perhaps he never had a car capable of getting there?
      Well we will see how this relationship will develop.

  23. Im far from a fan of Christian Horner however I am a little bit baffled by the comments here. Describing RB as the guy who got rejected trying to woo a girl is firmly illustrating that Dan held the power, as well a the admission that they met all his contract demands but he simply did not want them.

    The comments about being a hard number 1 at Renault vs an equal status or ‘soft’ 2 as some have implied is also not very bitter at all, it’s a fact.

    He even acknowledges that it may be a crackingly inspired decision or a massive gamble on his career, also facts.

    So what gives?

    1. You may say you’re not a CH fan, but then you sure sound gullible. What makes you think that what CH, a RB representative, is telling the truth?

      Here’s another take on the negotiations:
      So apparently, all that DR was asking for, was equal treatment to MV, something that RB didn’t want.

  24. joe pineapples
    9th August 2018, 10:34

    Hope we get Ricciardo & Horner together for an interview at the Spa weekend. Judging by those remarks, it ought to be worth the admission price.

    1. Antoon van Gemert
      9th August 2018, 18:20

      Or even better, this would be my favorite ‘different than usual’ line-up for the thursday press conference: Max Verstappen, Helmut Marko, Daniel Ricciardo and Cyril Abiteboul!

  25. Considering RB even offered Dan a one-year-deal so he could be available in 2020 when Verstappen, Vettel, Raikkonen (?) Hamilton and Bottas also end their contracts seems to me he’s really afraid being in the shadow of Verstappen, but now he will be under contract when the big shuffle comes….. I can simply not understand that choice.

    a twelve month contract would have put Ricciardo at a disadvantage as Hamilton and Vettel are contracted to 2020. The Renault drive is a two yr deal keeping Riccardo in line with the said drivers. RB did no favours for Ricciardo and have shown no loyalty or respect.

    1. Yes your right… I somewhere skiped a year.

      Vettel 2019/2020
      Raikkonen (??)
      Hamilton 2019/2020
      Bottas 2019
      Verstappen 2019/2020
      Ricciardo 2019/2020
      Hulkenberg 2019

      Horner explained to meet up to what Ricciardo was demanding…”even offering a one year deal”, I can’t see how they disrespect Ricciardo in any way if they are willing to meet up to his demands.

      A one-year-deal could put him in line when either Raikkonen or Bottas would leave after 2019, a two year deal will make him available when the other top drivers (Verstappen, Vettel and Hamilton) will end their contracts as well.
      I fail to see how this would be beneficiary to Ricciardo.

      1. No problems.

    2. @johnrkh By offering DR his own choice of contract length they did him no favours? Sounds like they bent over backwards to keep the guy, so Horner/RBR should be thanked by DR’s fans for giving DR completely free choice. DR has chosen Renault for his own reasons, in spite of RBR complimenting him and his talents by trying so hard to keep him. They literally tried to tailor a one-year option for DR in case he wanted that so he could move on after next year if he wanted. Doesn’t get much more accommodating than that.

        1. Roll over the floor loaded?

  26. Goodbye Daniel. You will fade away into history now. Be sure to get a set of renault tools in your car.

    1. Pjotr
      Presumably, you think the Honda Red Bull link up will be in a better position to win races next year than Renault? I have my doubts. A Renault Red Bull have already won races this year, can we expect Red Bull Honda to do the same next year? As of now, I see no evidence of that.

      1. Considering the performances toro rosso is at times doing this year, looks like renault = honda engine wise.

        Even if they don’t improve I don’t see renault catch up 1,5 sec gap chassis-related.

        1. Never in the history of the world has a comment more full of crap been uttered.

          Toro Rosso have done well at two races this year. Bahrain Gasly was in the zone, and in Hungary both benefited from a wet qualifying to get good starting positions at a track known for being hard to overtake at. The Honda is still the least reliable, least powerful engine on the grid. Reliability has improved by perhaps 20% this year – but they’re still half as reliable as any other supplier.

          Red Bull, in trying to take a bold move, have I predict made an enormous mistake going with Honda. They have shown nothing since coming back to F1 to suggest they’re going to get to a point where they can match Renault, Mercedes or Ferrari.

          1. Never in the history of the world has a comment more full of crap been uttered.

            Really? A few others do spring to mind:

            My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.”

            People have got to know whether their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook

            Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein

  27. Thought Horner may leave it a little longer until he dug the sly remarks in!
    While they may have offered Dan”everything he asked for” assuming money, contract length and equal status to Max, Dan either thought he wouldn’t get equal status to Max (as every man and his dog at Red Bull talk of him being youngest WDC) and/or he realised Max is going to be quicker, so cant beat him for a WDC in the same car.

    If he believes either of these then the decision to leave is correct. Make some great money and start a new- risky, yes but worth a shot.

    Either way Christian Horner should be a bit more professional as Team Principal (Or is that Helmut Marko???) and show a bit more respect to a driver who has given his all for 10 years for Red Bull. Dan and Sainz will swap overalls by year end I think (well, outside chance at least)

    1. I think he gave DR all the respect in the world by bending over backwards to keep him. What bigger compliment than that? And yet DR chose to leave anyway. Fair game all around. This decision is entirely on DR.

      1. @robbie
        Maybe he did, but Horner is a puppet, he doesn’t run RBR, Marko does. But did he really give any respect with those comments? I don’t think he did. Horner could wait until Dan was in an opposite car, but took him less than a week- great employers…………..

        Yes it was the first time Dan had his own decision so hopefully hi management helped him along the way.

        1. @garns I doubt Horner called a press conference to give his views. He was inevitably going to be asked sooner than later about DR’s decision, and certainly well sooner than once he’s in a Renault obviously, and he’s given his well thought out and diplomatic answer. I don’t believe he is anyone’s puppet.

          1. Robbie at his happiest, choosing only to believe any comments (this time from CH of all people) that fit his narrative, denying any other reports like
            Keep on sipping on that OJ

          2. @krxx Lol, the best you have to offer is a junior level article with not a single quote from anyone? Talk about OJ sipping…

  28. Best move for RIC. Being the wingman of Verstappen next year would make nearly impossible for him to be hired in a top-team like Ferrari or Mercedes as #1 driver.

  29. Horner always gets snidey whenever he feels aggrieved.

  30. This guy is quickly becoming the most annoying person in the paddock.
    Perhaps the lack of success is starting to put him under pressure within the team.

  31. Yeah, right! Ricciardo was offering himself to take on Hamilton or Vettel just to runaway from Max, the guy he had been beating every season in the points.

    If I hadn’t known better, I’d say those statements came from a fan.

  32. GtisBetter (@)
    9th August 2018, 18:29

    It’s mostly about the engine. Ricciardo knows he will not be WC with red bull for the next two years, but he believes that Renault will make better progress. Drivers of his skill aren’t afraid to battle with anyone and they think they can beat anyone and he might be right.

  33. Fact: Max is hotter then Daniel.
    Mercedes tried to get Max, not Daniel.

    With Max you talk about future potential. With Daniel about maxed out talent.

    1. ia
      Potential is nothing until realised. Oh, and Daniel finished ahead of Max in the points table last year, and is already ahead this year.

    2. Mercedes never tried to get max. It was all hype, and now Red Bull overpays Max because of it. Max’s stock is less than it was at the end of 2016.

      1. Yeah, keep telling yourself that, lol

  34. Peter Scandlyn
    9th August 2018, 19:48

    Guess this proves that ‘No $*it Sherlock’ moments really do occur….

  35. There is no reason, or at least good reason, to doubt the sincerity of Christian Horner’s words.

    I don’t think anyone who seriously follows F1 knows who is faster of the current RBR duo and who has the brighter future. This is not, and actually in F1 is very rarely, a team decision – it is something decided on the tracks.

    I wish Dan the best of luck, and as Horner said, his choice might go very well, or it might backfire.

    My 50 cents: He will have trouble beating HUL.

    1. of course I mean “anyone who seriously follows F1 doesn’t know…”

  36. Cant wait to see Dan against Max next season, it is going to be on. Imagine the first overtake Dan does on Max. I hope he waves in his mirror lol

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