‘Sad’ Ricciardo opens up on ‘toughest decision’

DANIEL Ricciardo has taken to social media following his shock call to sign with Renault instead of Red Bull, saying it is one of the toughest decisions he's ever made.

The Australian Formula One star's decision to sign with Renault on a two-year from 2019 stunned the motorsport world when it was confirmed he was exiting Red Bull on Friday.

The 29-year-old is fifth in the 2018 drivers' standings and has won in China and Monaco this season, two of his seven Grand Prix victories.

"The news is out, it's real," Ricciardo said in a video posted to Twitter.

"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.

"Sad to move on, absolutely. Excited for the challenge at Renault, but it's been a 10-year journey in Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo has made the call to switch camps.
Daniel Ricciardo has made the call to switch camps.

"I was on the junior program in 2008, some amazing memories from there, things that I'll always be grateful for and I'll never forget that ride.

"Personally I felt it was a time now where it was good for me to move on and have a fresh start somewhere else, I think it will be healthy for me."

Ricciardo's switch to a team outside the big three of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari represents a gamble.

While Renault are one place behind Red Bull in the constructors' standings, they only have 82 points while third-placed Red Bull sit on 223.

"Excited for what lies ahead with Renault," Ricciardo continued, "but [I] just want to thank Red Bull Racing, Red Bull the company, for everything they've done for me.

"I really appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart, and we've got nine races left to kick some arse, so let's get it."