It’s the end of an era for Daniel Ricciardo this weekend. After 10 years with the Red Bull family, a tenure that has yielded seven Grand Prix victories and 29 podiums, the Abu Dhabi showdown marks his 100th and last-ever race for the senior Red Bull squad. The Honey Badger made the brave decision to join Renault next year, and he has given insight into just how ‘scary’ that impending move is...
Ricciardo caused quite a stir during F1’s summer shutdown when he announced that he would part ways with Red Bull, having formed a competitive partnership with team mate Max Verstappen, and join Renault for 2019.
That eureka moment, as Ricciardo reveals in a fascinating column with our content partners, The Players’ Tribune, came while flying to Los Angeles - and it's a decision he doesn't regret, admitting that while there will be teething troubles with his new squad, it's a career move he had to make.
“I needed to listen to my heart, I needed to go it alone and make my own decision. Change is scary — it’s ****** terrifying,” wrote Ricciardo.
“And I know the next part of my journey won’t always be easy, but I had to take this step to try to be the best version of me. That’s all it was. It was the next step, the next leap, a new challenge.
“I’m going to Renault next year, and I’m going with an open mind and a full heart. Nobody has a crystal ball, or can predict the future or the results of my decision, but nonetheless a decision was made.
“But for now I want to end this year strong. It’s not going to be easy, mentally. I know that. Each lap I turn in the car will mean one lap closer to my last in a Red Bull race suit. And when I get out for the final time in Abu Dhabi.… I think I’m going to have a right good cry. Maybe a few of ’em. Then winter will come, I’ll go meet my new Renault friends, and I’ll start anew.”