Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian shoe-champagne-guzzling star of Red Bull’s Formula One team and objectively one of Earth’s best humans, surprised the racing world this morning with an announcement that he won’t be on the team past the end of this year. And if multiple reports are to be believed, he’s headed to Renault next. (Update: Renault confirms it’s happening.) The Red Bull team made this announcement confirming that Ricciardo, who had been with them since 2014 and started on the junior Toro Rosso team in 2012, will leave at the end of this year’s season. Commenting on Daniel’s decision, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner said: “We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future. We would like to thank him for his dedication and the role he has played since joining the Team in 2014, the highlights of course being the seven wins and the 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us. As the statement noted, there’s still nine races left in 2018 where Ricciardo will race alongside teammate Max Verstappen. ESPN says it’s likely Carlos Sainz or Pierre Gasly will replace him after this year. But Verstappen—the up-and-coming but shenanigans-prone 20-year-old driver seen as a rising star within the company and the sport—was apparently a point of contention for the more senior Ricciardo. According to the Australian, Verstappen secured a much more lucrative deal recently, and Ricciardo feared getting relegated… [Read full story]
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