Daniel Ricciardo has blamed a "lack of stability" at Red Bull for his decision to leave at the end of 2018.
Ricciardo ended his five-year stay with the team in favour of a move to Renault for the 2019 season before again switching allegiances two years later by joining McLaren.
After responding to a recent claim from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner that the timing of his departure was "spectacularly bad", Ricciardo explained some of the reasoning behind his decision to quit.
“Internally you have to be comfortable with everything that is going on inside the team," Ricciardo told the Herald Sun.
"In 2019, my engineer Simon [Rennie], who I really built a very good relationship with, he wasn’t going to be there in 2019 so I knew I was going to lose him if I stayed.
“And they [Red Bull] were going to Honda. There were a lot of things that gave me a little bit of discomfort or lack of stability."
The latter comment referred to the fact Red Bull was switching power unit provider to the Japanese manufacturer which had endured a turbulent return to F1 in 2015 after it had initially joined forces with McLaren.
Ricciardo understands criticism
Ricciardo stood on the podium a total of 29 times with Red Bull throughout his five seasons that ran from 2014 through to 2018, in which time he scored seven wins.
Since leaving, he has only scored three additional podiums, twice finishing third with Renault in 2020 before savouring victory again last season with McLaren in the Italian Grand Prix.
Accepting the criticism about him leaving, Ricciardo added: “I guess when you break it down it makes sense. I totally get why people will say ‘You shouldn’t have done that’ or whatever.
“That’s expected and I can’t say it bothers me, it is what it is.”
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