Horner suggests Verstappen progress sparked Ricciardo exit

Sunday, 30 december 2018, 06:26 , by Matthew Scott

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes that Max Verstappen's progression and concerns over Honda's ability to deliver a race-winning power unit combined to leave Daniel Ricciardo seeking a new challenge and opting to leave for Renault after a decade with the team.

Horner has previously revealed that Red Bull bowed to many of Ricciardo's demands in contract talks – including a one-year extension to allow the Australian to judge Honda after Red Bull's split from Renault was announced for 2019.

Ricciardo has previously denied that Verstappen's growing standing in the team was behind his decision to leave, but Horner says it may have played a role.

"We looked at it and I think we did everything that we possibly could to retain him," Horner told Autosport.

"He actually said this - he did the classic break-up – 'it's not you, it's me!' And I think he just genuinely wanted to take on a new challenge.

"I think he was also probably concerned about his value with the evolution of Max, and was probably uncertain about Honda at that time.

"Subsequently he's seen what we were talking about start to come to fruition.

"You always have a Plan B. I think once we understood that he was serious, that that was his mindset, it was a very easy decision to come to regarding Pierre Gasly."

MORE: Verstappen: If only my teammate was as slow as Bottas!
MORE: Verstappen says Ricciardo will miss Red Bull

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Comments (8)

  • Kelly Mattes
    Of coarse he left because he couldn't beat Max in qualifying. The last 2 years hes gotten smoked. I'm sure it was a hit to his ego when it seems neither Ferrari nor Mercedes wanted him. I said all year they'd never take him because of 2 things, number one hes 30 yrs old and he wont get any quicker. That usually peaks in your mid to late 20s. That's a mans peak age. Number 2 hes slower than his teammate which means hed never get the most out of a car which happens to be the number 1 reason manufacturers are in racing. It's their product they're promoting not the drivers who will come and go long after the drivers retired. Also, if you cant see how fast Max is your knowledge of racing us pretty limited. It's the reason all the teams are grabbing these young fast guys. They are quick and you cant teach quickness, but you can teach someone how to drive. It's why you take a chance.
  • Michael Hogan
    Just seems a bit weird that , Red Bull cars kept breaking down and Renault cars didn’t, so seeing Alonso’s car looked faster with a Renault engine and to me the Toro cars finished behind with the Honda engine,so I think Dan saw the Honda engine as a slower engine and the Renault engine is faster and more reliable in the works car . With Max being given number 1 standing by the owner Dan really had no option but to leave as he wouldn’t be given equal opportunity at Red Bull.Only time will tell in the coming season.
  • Matt McElvany
    Why does everyone keep glossing over that RB is switching to Honda next year? Thats good as reason as any to leave the team
  • Vera Rozenberg
    Even daniel knew what he was up to. This page is full of hate.. Disgusting
  • Per Axblom
    Horner have proved he cant handle 2 drivers
  • Joshua Dreeks
    More like the most unreliable car in 2018.
  • Wendy Porter
    Your full of it Horner

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