Ricciardo lifts lid on Mercedes talks in 2018

Monday, 31 december 2018, 08:04 , by Matthew Scott

Daniel Ricciardo says he opted for a move to Renault after growing tired of waiting for Mercedes to give him a "black and white answer" on a potential switch from Red Bull. Ricciardo was tipped for a move to either Mercedes or Ferrari in 2018, but will instead gamble on Renault's project coming to fruition.

As it soon became apparent that Ferrari would swap Kimi Raikkonen with Charles Leclerc, and Mercedes announced Valtteri Bottas would remain with the team at the German GP.

It left Ricciardo seemingly likely to stay with Red Bull, but his announcement of a move to Renault shocked F1 – as well as his employers, who had prepared a video confirming his stay.

The Australian was effectively on the market for the first time in his career in 2018 and says he will learn lessons from his year.

He told ESPN of discussions with Mercedes: "I knew talks would take a bit of time probably and again, trying to feel each other out, but it got to June/July and maybe we had spoken a few times and we hadn't really got anywhere, so if you want me tell me otherwise, I will move on - that's cool.

"I guess it gets to the point like that with everyone where you want a black or white answer and that's it. I guess the games can wear a little thin.

"I don't even know if it's games, but circling around the edges, it's like - just go straight in! But these are all things I will learn, and I am sure there will be another time in my career where I will need to go through this process again.

"I am sure there's things I will do differently. I don't necessarily have any regrets, it's all just a learning process."

MORE: Why Vettel ignored 'multi 21' order
MORE: Horner suggests Verstappen progress sparked Ricciardo exit


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Comments (13)

  • Eber Shibin
    He wud have told Toto by mid season, he is going to Williams as he wants a new challenge and how beating Lewis in the same car wud be too mainstream
  • Lars Bråten
    Mercedes would prefer Max, but failed to snap him early enough. And I think Max will prefer Ferrari when he is available again.
  • Johan Kloppers
    Riccardo would have stood no chance. The only guy that could conceivably have given Ham a go was Alonso!
  • Martin Hossell
    My money was on on Riccardo going to Mercedes for 2019. Would have been a strong line - up
  • James Heeley
    Bollocks if u had a chance at Mercedes u wouldn't go to Renault
  • James Lewis
    I think only person that could ever challenge Hamilton is Max
  • Bruno Borges
    Daniel, this is James...
  • Harry Baker
    Nathan Gardner how good would this have been
  • Jody Harrison
    That line-up wouldn't work for Dan i think.
  • Paul Harten
    He is no better than Botha’s
  • Rushik Paritala
    Kevin Raj HNY
  • Edwin Gill
    Daniel it's james

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