Ricciardo not ready to sign new Renault deal

Ruben Hill
July 12, 2019

Before the 2019 season, the Australian surprised everyone when he made a decision to leave Red Bull after a 10-year association to join Renault, who are not one of the elite top three teams in F1.

"Part of me was pretty happy for them, and for F1 to just have a good race", he continued. That's not having a dig, that's just the reality. But it's been a hard start to his tenure at Renault, with the Australian finishing in the points in only three of the nine races so far.

With Red Bull Racing's other options being limited, this could be an opportunity for Bottas to serve as the number one driver - or at the very least, not a number two driver - for a top-tier team after spending three seasons as the effective wingman for five-time and likely soon-to-be six-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. "But not because I don't trust Renault", Ricciardo was quoted by GrandPXnews when asked if he would sign a contract extension with the team.

"Overall it's been positive, even if it's also been a hard year", he insisted.

"I had no illusions [about Renault's situation]". You don't win overnight.

"What was for sure is that I wouldn't have fought for the world championship. I wanted to leave Red Bull and get out of my comfort zone, even if it meant taking risks".

Ricciardo continues to be linked with a possible move to Ferrari, despite denials from Maranello.

If Verstappen leaves Red Bull Racing, it would be to replace the 29-year-old Finn, so that would leave a seat open for Bottas at Red Bull Racing assuming he does not go to Ferrari, a possibility that would emerge if Vettel leaves the team since Charles Leclerc's contract with Ferrari runs through at least the 2022 season.

"I don't have an answer to this question", he said.

Ricciardo is happy the sport was able to bounce back to form after the criticism following France.

Ricciardo said that he has some sympathy for Vettel. His own decision to leave Red Bull past year had been in part due to frustration at all the attention going to his young team mate Max Verstappen.

"Maybe he's experiencing something like what I felt a year ago", Ricciardo mused.

"Obviously I'm further back at the moment, absolutely, but I expected this and if I stayed at Red Bull it was to win a title".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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