Ricciardo: No 'one deciding factor' behind McLaren switch
Daniel Ricciardo has explained why waiting for the Formula 1 season to start before deciding on a change of teams was not an option.
With the start of the 2020 season being delayed considerably, several Formula 1 drivers have now found themselves in the strange situation of heading into a campaign, knowing they will not be remaining with their current team past the end of the year.
The joint announcement from Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari that he would not be retained into 2021 sparked a brief frenzy of activity, with Carlos Sainz making plans to switch from McLaren to Ferrari, and Ricciardo announcing his move from Renault to McLaren.
“I think obviously Vettel’s announcement, or news with Ferrari, sparked everything," Ricciardo told the F1 Nation podcast. "Then things were moving pretty quickly, obviously around Carlos and all of the other stuff.
“I don’t think there was, although it seemed like maybe there was still time, I don’t actually think there was.
“If we start racing - this is all what I’m just playing in my head – in July, which even then wasn’t 100%, you’ve then got a few races, you’re not going to find out in the first race, the second race, so you’re probably going to wait until August or maybe September before you know where everyone’s at, and by then it felt like it was going to be too late to get something you were after.”
Although Renault finished fifth in the constructors' standings in 2019, the French manufacturer were 54-points short of McLaren in fourth.
Ricciardo explained: “The reality is, you get pitches from whichever team is talking to you, and to some extent, especially now without having any races and any kind of proof other than last year, you have to believe that it’s what pitch do you – maybe even believe is too much – but what pitch excites you more than the other.
“You’re going with what you feel and think at the time. Who knows?
“But if I go back to last year, last year is our best reference for now, they were the team that made the most noise.
"Mercedes won the championship again, but it was quite clear to most that McLaren was the team which made the biggest step out of all, so that was obviously encouraging for them.
"That’s really all you can kind of base it off, and then the pitch for the future."
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