With the 2019 Formula One season on the horizon, we have learned that Daniel Ricciardo, who will be driving for Renault, or as he might have put it, any other than Red bull, was not pleased that Mercedes and Ferrari overlooked him.
Near the end of last season, it appeared that Ferrari would have a seat open, but they replaced Kimi Raikkonen with Charles Leclerc. Mercedes then decided to extend Valtteri Bottas, so Ricciardo’s options, other than taking a position with Uber, were limited.
Ricciardo told Natalie Pinkham, on her podcast In The Pink, that he was frustrated by the failure of either Mercedes or Ferrari to consider him, saying, “Yes — to answer it bluntly. At the end of the day in the next 12 months I still think, and everybody would say this, that Mercedes and Ferrari are going to be the teams to beat.”
Things started to turn sour for Ricciardo at Red Bull when he perceived, justly so perhaps, that the team was leaning in the direction of giving more support to Max Verstappen.
Those with a historical frame of reference will note that Red Bull started to decline the year Riccardo joined. Prior to that, Red Bull won constructors’ championships four consecutive years, 2010 – 2013, with Sebastian Vettel as their primary driver.
That year of 2014 was when Lewis Hamilton took a seat with Mercedes. He won the drivers’ championship in 2014 and 2015, and then donated one to his teammate Nico Rosberg, before taking the next two in 2017 and 2018.
It would have seemed that Ricciardo was an obvious choice for Ferrari, what with the Italian connection.
Ricciardo’s frustration with Red Bull became one of the major stories on the 2018 F1 competition, as he had to abandon eight races due to various mechanical issues, most related to the Renault power unit of his Red Bull car.