Daniel Ricciardo to Renault

Ricciardo’s decision to move to Renault has shocked the F1 world. Pic GettyMore

Ricciardo drove for Red Bull's junior Formula One team Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013, recording a best finish of 14th.

Renault-bound Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo says he is "sad" to be ending his long-standing relationship with Red Bull, but insists the timing was right to make a change.

The Australian driver, who has won seven races since joining Red Bull in 2014, has agreed to a two-year deal with Renault.

"By far the toughest decision I've made in my racing career - but 29 years living on this Earth, it was actually one of the toughest life decisions I've made".

Ricciardo's arrival leaves Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who is on loan from Red Bull alongside Germany's Nico Hulkenberg, looking for a new home.

"How close we came to getting him, I think only Daniel knows the answer to that question", he said.

Despite team boss Christian Horner claiming a new deal was close only last month, the 29-year-old has since decided to make the move to Renault.

"I realise that there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level", he added.

As Ricciardo will be leaving the Milton Keynes-based squad this year for Renault, we hope this won't be the last epic drive we'll see from Ricciardo behind the wheel of a Red Bull. In addition, Red Bull has made a decision to switch to Honda engine ditching Renault engine from 2019 over reliability issues. Following his Red bull departure and move to Renault, he has posted a thank you message to Red Bull on Twitter with videos of his highlights.

Jonathan McEvoy writes that the Australian, out of contract at the end of 2018, didn't get the "assurances he craved" from Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Sainz's real competition from within the Red Bull ranks is Pierre Gasly who has given a good account of himself in his first full season in the top-flight.

But Hamilton finished fourth in the Driver's standings the next year before the team went on to dominate the next five years of F1. "In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximizing every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season".

Despite two race wins this season, including a victory in the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, it's been a frustrating season for Ricciardo at Red Bull.

Renault team president Jerome Stoll said the signing underlined their ambition: "Renault chose to come back to Formula One to fight for World Championships".

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