Daniel Ricciardo had just got off the plane in Los Angeles when he faced the uncomfortable task of informing his bosses Helmut Marko and Christian Horner that he will not renew his contract and will instead switch to Renault. That was in the summer of 2018. The details of this change are now circulating in the Formula 1 paddock, many myths and different representations. Marko "assumes", he tells in an interview with "Motorsport-Total.com" that ultimately money is the most important motive was for the change. Renault has lured Ricciardo, according to court records, with an annual loan of 25 million euros. Red Bull is believed to have offered ten million fixum – and the opportunity to increase the amount considerably with high success premiums.
At the same time, Ricciardo knew that his teammate Max Verstappen deserved more than he did. That was one of the most important reasons to leave Red Bull: "If you believe in yourself, you are convinced that you have a certain value" , reveals the 30-year-old in an interview with the Formula 1 podcast "Beyond the Grid". While he means "not necessarily money" with this value, he admits that the discrepancy with Verstappen did bother him: "Of course do you compare yourself with your teammate, "says Ricciardo. "I was not convinced that I would be judged the way I rate myself. That certainly played into it." Telephone calls: Marko was not surprised, but Horner … Although the two of them met in front of the Grand in Marko's Graz office As soon as the Austrian Prix for 2019 had almost been agreed, Marko Ricciardo's message about the switch to Renault was quite relaxed: "I guess he already suspected that I was looking for something else. He was surprised, yes, but he even said on the phone: 'I knew that was coming.' "" A little embarrassing, "on the other hand, the conversation with Horner had gone, Ricciardo remembers:" He thought I was joking! And I like this: ' Oh no, unfortunately not! ' He says: 'Come on, it was funny, now we continue to talk.' And I: "What can I say? I wish it was a joke, but it's not." […] But when it became clear to him, we had a good conversation. "With a marginal note in the podcast, Ricciardo also confirms what is considered an open secret in Formula 1 paddock: that Horner is not the one who has the largest share has driver decisions. "I mostly negotiated with Helmut. Christian was more the person with whom I could talk about it," reveals the Australian, who made the decision to leave Red Bull at the fourth race of the season in Baku. Not because of the collision with Verstappen, but because it occurred to him through the team's internal handling of the incident that he was increasingly threatening to slip into a number 2 role. Ricciardo laughs: "Now I can be honest …" "Now I can be honest, "laughs Ricciardo when he tells his Baku story. "When it crashed, I didn't give a shit! 'You deserve it!' That was my feeling. I wasn't sad or angry about the points I lost. I was just angry. "" What I really thought was: 'Fuck you, guys!' Everyone saw it coming and it was shown as 50:50, which I saw very differently. In the days that followed, I was quite embittered, "he recalls. "The week after, I decided that I had to go." "But then I win Monaco! That was the greatest feeling. I thought to myself: 'Oh, Baku was just an emotion. We'll get it right." . ' But putting Baku away was a tough nut to crack, "admits Ricciardo. Today, his relationship with Red Bull is intact. He jokes and bets with Marko every now and then – for example, Ricciardo has lost $ 1,000 because he predicted that Valtteri Bottas would no longer drive for Mercedes in 2019, and the Red Bull side is also reconciled. He "felt sorry for Ricciardo's change," says Marko, "because firstly, he was a very fast and, above all, always a fun driver who has improved at Verstappen. When Verstappen came, the first time was not so easy for him But he improved and was safe at Verstappen level until qualifying. "