Daniel Ricciardo dropped a bomb on the F1 world when he announced his move to Renault from Red Bull.
The Australian was expected to sign an extension with Red Bull, but decided that he needed a change in scenery as Red Bull did not value him as high as Verstappen.
The duo were involved in that infamous Baku crash, one that did cause a lot of tension in the Red Bull garage, but was brushed aside by everyone involved as the team did not want a mid-season controversy.
Now, during Renault’s car launch for the 2019 season, Ricciardo was obviously asked about what triggered the Renault move.
Cyril abiteboul to Ricciardo: what sort of risk are you taking?
Daniel Ricciardo: “Bonjour! Je m’ appellee Daniel! I just wanted to learn French, that’s why I’m doing this.”
— Eau rouge (@Insidef1) February 12, 2019
Can Daniel Ricciardo win in his first season with Renault?
Hear from the man himself as he looks ahead to F1 2019 with Sky Sports' Craig Slater…
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) February 12, 2019
He was quizzed about the Baku incident and if it had any role to play in his decision making.
Ricciardo confirmed that it was one of the factors in his decision making as he felt that Red Bull put the blame on both drivers, when it was obviously Verstappen’s mistake.
Max was leading Ricciardo and Ricciardo rammed into the back of his car, but it was because Max had made a double defensive move.
“I didn’t want to hold a grudge on that,” Ricciardo said
“I couldn’t tell you how many pieces made up the kaleidoscope but I guess that was one of the little pieces.
“We both got a talking to, putting it politely. I felt like I was not really in the wrong, even if I’m the one that hit him. I think most people saw the double move.
“Before that there was a lot of contact, and a lot of people thought it went on too long. I guess the way it was handled at the time didn’t sit too well with me.
“Handling the media, I get. It’s a big brand to look after. I get it doesn’t help if we both go off at each other. But I felt there was a bit of equal blame (from the team).
New steed. pic.twitter.com/ql58U6QxJQ
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) February 12, 2019
Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to starting life at Renault after his move from Red Bull 🏎️ pic.twitter.com/KhZvatDTr2
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) February 13, 2019
“And maybe it’s just me being a stubborn race car driver but I didn’t think it was an equal incident, is the easiest way to put it. So that was a little thing, I guess, which bothered me. But it wasn’t the deal-breaker.” he added.
Do you think Red Bull did not handle the situation well? Or were they wise in not making a massive issue out of it.
Ricciardo could have been told behind the scenes that it was in fact Max Verstappen’s mistake.