Daniel Ricciardo believes it would have been a greater risk for him to have remained at Red Bull in 2019, as the team enters into a partnership with Honda, rather than moving to Renault, the former engine partner of Red Bull.
Ricciardo got his hands on the 2019 Renault challenger for the first time as the French team completed a shakedown run of the R.S. 19 at the Circuit de Catalunya. Ricciardo reacted positively after a demo run in Barcelona, with testing set to get under way next week.
The Australian's fortunes will be closely monitored in 2019, having swapped Red Bull for Renault – leaving a team with designs on a title challenge this year for one that doesn't expect to be a contender until 2021.
Although Red Bull have spoken positively about their expectations of Honda for the season to come, Ricciardo remains unconvinced.
"There is a bit of a gamble with it but the more I think about it I don't see it too much as a gamble in terms of [comparison] with Red Bull," Ricciardo is quoted by motorsport-total.com.
"We're not coming in the team saying we're going to win so the expectation and the bar is not initially very high, whereas at Red Bull every year we kind of built ourselves up because we'd won in the past.
"Every year you kind of feel it's going to happen and the risk is being let down every year.
"I feel like the risk of failure [staying at Red Bull] is greater than coming here and having the risk of not winning, if that makes sense.
"Out of the two options they both have some risk, but with risk comes reward and because the growth here is potentially a lot bigger I feel that the reward can certainly be bigger here and the ability to become less frustrated is better here.
"Renault is not there yet in terms of where it wants to go. The team has been catching up [since 2014] and mistakes are likely to continue, but my impression is that these mistakes are being phased out, and my personal feeling tells me: Honda has more problems to solve."