Formula 1 briefing: Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Michael Schumacher

Formula 1 briefing: Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Michael Schumacher

Javier Howell
August 27, 2018

Red Bull have already announced 22-year-old Frenchman Pierre Gasly will replace Ricciardo in 2019, a move that has raised eyebrows, with former driver Derek Daly questioning whether Gasly and Max Verstappen will be able to develop the auto to the same level Ricciardo was able to.

His public comments followed less complimentary remarks by him and other members of the Red Bull team, about Alonso, while they were considering who to sign to replace Ricciardo.

Red Bull approached Alonso when it was in its formative years and had not yet become a grand prix victor or won a title.

Red Bull hasn't been able to compete with the two top sides, falling well behind in the constructors' championship in recent times, which has contributed to Ricciardo's choice to leave.

"I have huge respect for Fernando, he is a great driver, a fantastic driver, but it's very hard...he's tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he's gone", said Horner. I can understand that, but it's a pity because he is one of the strongest drivers.

For a brief time it was thought Red Bull would try to make Sainz their No 2 driver.

"That is why it was also a bit of a surprise for me that he left".

"But it was the best I could do so I called Christian (Horner)". He felt I need to take something else on at this stage of my career.

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Horner told a news conference that Red Bull had not offered him a drive for 2019 and had not approached him since 2007.

Horner said Alonso's manager Flavio Briatore, a former Renault team boss, had made an enquiry as had Formula One's commercial rights holders Liberty Media about possible interest in the Spaniard.

"If he could be in a competitive vehicle, I'm sure they would prefer him staying". Not easy to make and not easy to break to for the team, but personally within myself I feel it's a good thing for me.

"It was a long thought process for sure", said Ricciardo.

Daniel Ricciardo may have signed for a better payday. "I didn't really know what I was saying to my mates, so I jumped in the pool and celebrated with my mates and family". Instead, the Australian claims decision was made because of the lack of motivation.

"There was back and forth over the last few months". With the contract stuff people assumed I was pretty much done with Red Bull and ready to sign, but I'm pretty sure I always just said I was close to doing something. "I just started speaking to Yamamoto about that". "I took my time with it, by no means an easy decision at all".

"The way the momentum had been going, we'd been talking since February about this", he told Sky Sports in Belgium.

Ricciardo also refuted the suggestion his move was down to a fear of staying alongside current teammate Max Verstappen, something suggested by Red Bull boss Christian Horner after the news became official.