Renault ‘fooled’ Ricciardo into leaving Red Bull – Marko
May 7 2019 , 12:09 pm
Daniel Ricciardo has been “fooled” into joining Renault in 2019, according to Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko, who seemingly puts little faith in the French marque’s oft-stated ambition to crack into the leading pack in Formula 1 in the coming years.
Ricciardo signed a reportedly highly lucrative deal with Renault for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, having decided to depart Red bull in what was the most shocking driver move of a crazy 2018 summer break.
The Australian had begun the year talked about as a potential candidate for seats that may have opened up at Mercedes and Ferrari, but the Silver Arrows kept Valtteri Bottas and the Italian squad replaced Kimi Raikkonen with Charles Leclerc.
Ricciardo has stated he does not expect race wins in 2019, but three DNFs in the opening four rounds are likely still short of his hopes.
“The story should read that he decides in the summer, whether he goes to Ferrari or Mercedes or remains with Red Bull,” Marko said.
“That turned out to be very different from what he imagined, and very different from what the Netflix people wanted it to be.”
Ricciardo had been widely expected to remain at Red Bull on a one-year deal, with promotional videos of an announcement filmed before he made the decision to join Renault instead.
“For me, it looked like everything was fine,” Marko explained.
“We improved the offer and discussed everything he thought was in need of improvement, including personal sponsors he had from Australia, and that was a relatively long conversation.
“After the Hungary test, I already guessed that it would be no more.”
Marko said Ricciardo had fallen for promises from Renault which Red Bull had not believed when they made the decision to swap engine supply to Honda for 2019.
Explaining how the French squad “fooled” Ricciardo, Marko added: “Renault is good at that. They showed us charts over and over again, showing the engine will be massive next year. He will have just believed it.”