Formula 1 | Ricciardo turned down ‘stratospheric’ offer from Red Bull to stay after 2018
After driving for the Red Bull team from 2014 to 2018, Daniel Ricciardo took the gamble of joining Renault in 2019, thus leaving a team capable of playing for victory for another which was then stuck in the middle of the pack.
The Australian, who will still score two podiums in 2020, will leave the French team after just two seasons to join McLaren F1 last year. He has since suffered greatly against teammate Lando Norris, but still won his first Grand Prix in over three years at Monza.
The 2022 season is currently very complicated for the English team and gossips will say that once again, Ricciardo was not very inspired in his career choices.
But looking back to 2018, Christian Horner revealed that Red Bull had done everything to keep Ricciardo by visibly offering him a financial offer « stratospheric ». Except that the rise of a certain Max Verstappen, who joined the team in 2016, forced the Australian to review his plans.
« We made him a stratospheric offer to stay. But Daniel saw that Max was on an upward slope and he didn’t want to become the number 2 driver, » explained Horner to The Weekend Australian newspaper.
“His timing was extremely bad because he had doubts about the Honda engine at that time and then they proved they were capable of winning.
While McLaren F1 currently seems to be in big trouble with the new regulations, Horner believes that the Australian has wasted his talent and even worse, after « running away » from Max Verstappen, he is now in trouble against another young driver: Lando Norris .
« Daniel is a great driver and we were sad when he decided to leave the team, » continues Horner. « And it’s really a shame that he didn’t manage to find the success he would have liked. »
« He has great natural abilities and a very strong personality. Of course he now has a very talented teammate. He makes life difficult for him and it’s hard for Daniel. »