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Ricciardo 'to leave Red Bull' over Verstappen frustrations

Ricciardo 'to leave Red Bull' over Verstappen frustrations

F1 News

Ricciardo 'to leave Red Bull' over Verstappen frustrations

Ricciardo 'to leave Red Bull' over Verstappen frustrations

Daniel Ricciardo will make a sensational move from Red Bull to Renault for the 2019 season, it is reported by the Daily Mail. According to the report, Ricciardo has grown frustrated with Red Bull favouring his team-mate Max Verstappen and will instead switch to the French team.

The move is likely to further open up the bitter divide between Red Bull and Renault, which has festered in recent years over the French marque's inability to match Mercedes and Ferrari in the power stakes.

Red Bull have taken the plunge and signed a deal with Honda for the 2019 season - a factor which could also play a role if Ricciardo does decide to leave.

According to the Mail, Ricciardo met with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz at the Austrian Grand Prix, but was not assured that he would be on an equal footing with Verstappen.

The Dutchman has previously revealed that he is seen as the "title project" inside Red Bull, with motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko placing him on a similar footing that Sebastian Vettel enjoyed in the team.

Vettel was generally favoured over Australian team-mate Mark Webber, who railed against his 'number-two driver' status. Ricciardo, it seems, is keen to avoid falling into a similar situation to his compatriot.

If Ricciardo does depart, it could provide Carlos Sainz Jr with the chance to step up to the senior Red Bull team and link up once again with his former Toro Rosso colleague Verstappen.

However, McLaren are thought to also be in the market for the Spaniard, having seen a move for Ricciardo earlier this year rebuffed.

Ricciardo had started the year discussing potential moves to Mercedes and Ferrari with his Red Bull deal winding down, however interest from F1's top two teams failed to materialise.

Ferrari are reportedly set to offer Kimi Raikkonen another one-year deal after cooling on a move for Charles Leclerc, while Mercedes have confirmed Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton as their 2019 line-up.

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