Brown says McLaren was 'pretty close' to signing Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo: It was probably one of the most hard decisions to take in my career so far.

With time to spare during Formula One's three-week-long summer break, the Red Bull team and its Australian star saw a ideal opportunity to kick off the first stage of an F1 transatlantic road trip. Ricciardo is a seven-time race victor and regarded as one of the best drivers in the field, and he's taking a leap of faith to a team with a top finish of fifth in 2018.

Though no race tracks or potential future F1 venues were featured in the whistlestop tour, plenty of stunning locales were visited. "Each time Renault has been in the sport they eventually won".

At Renault, though, he is more likely become the star figure ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg and therefore, that may have swayed Ricciardo's decision. Daniel's undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team.

Ricciardo's surprise switch to Renault shocked the F1 world when it was announced yesterday afternoon.

Riccardo has made the move to keep alive his hopes of a world championship, something that looked bleak as the sidekick to child prodigy Max Verstappen at Red Bull and with Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz both shunning the Australian ace. Renault finished ninth in 2016 with Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen in the paddock but upped their game in 2017 with Nico Hulkenberg scoring the majority of the team's points as they finished sixth.

Fuel strategy helped Colin Braun and Jon Bennett take CORE autosport’s second consecutive Prototype win
Fuel strategy helped Colin Braun and Jon Bennett take CORE autosport’s second consecutive Prototype win

It has been more than a decade since Renault last won the Formula One drivers' title with Fernando Alonso in 2006, and the team who supply engines to Red Bull have not won a race since fully rejoining Formula One three years ago.

"It is the toughest decision I have made in my racing career". We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best vehicle possible.

So too was staying put at Red Bull, however, with the former champions switching from Renault to Honda power next season. Renault is Red Bull's current engine provider.

"How close we came to getting him, I think only Daniel knows the answer to that question", he said.

Sainz's real competition from within the Red Bull ranks is Pierre Gasly who has given a good account of himself in his first full season in the top-flight.

Team president Jerome Stoll added: "Renault chose to come back to Formula One to fight for world championships". The race begins at 2.10pm on Sunday August 26.

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