Four years ago, Daniel Ricciardo decides to leave Red Bull Racing F1 team; Christian Horner now reveals the reason and can’t help taking a potshot at him to boot.
According to the Red Bull team boss, Daniel Ricciardo’s departure after the 2018 season had only one reason: Max Verstappen. Speaking to The Australian, the 48-year-old said that at the time (2018) Riciardo had realised that his then teammate was on the up. “And he didn’t want to play second fiddle.” says Horner.
Besides the duel with the Dutchman, Ricciardo had also had “doubts about the Honda engines”. However, since Red Bull was competitive with Honda after a relatively short time, he had displayed “incredibly bad timing”.
Daniel Ricciardo defends departure from Red Bull
Ricciardo himself, who landed at McLaren via Renault ahead of the 2021 season, seems to be fine with his decision, however. For in an interview with the Herald Sun, he revealed his goal: “Obviously I would love to win the title in a McLaren and then be able to say: I told you so!”
That the critics will continue to doubt him loudly until then is something he can accept, he said: “I knew what I was getting into when I left a big team. And at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.”
Later, he added again. He said he could understand if people doubted his decision, but “you have to expect that. It is now, though, and I don’t care.”
Horner takes a potshot at Ricciardo
Horner himself explained that they would have liked to continue working with the Australian in 2018. “We were sad when he decided to leave the team.” And even now he found warm words for his ex-driver. He was “a great driver” and “a great personality”.
But he still had a little potshot aimed at Ricciardo. Just like back then at Red Bull, Ricciardo once again has a fast younger team-mate in Lando Norris, who makes life difficult for him.
“And that is hard for him.” says Horner.