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Hype around Verstappen was 'one of the thirty reasons' for Ricciardo's departure
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Hype around Verstappen was 'one of the thirty reasons' for Ricciardo's departure

21 May - 09:54 Last update: 11:06
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GPblog.com

Daniel Ricciardo is back at the track this weekend where he was first beaten by Max Verstappen. In 2016, the Dutchman managed to win directly in Barcelona on his debut by Red Bull Racing. From then on, Ricciardo felt it was getting tougher and tougher, as momentum began to shift.

Ricciardo on the hype surrounding Verstappen

"Obviously, I knew the hype behind Max and it’s funny, we’re here in Barcelona and this is where the real hype train started," said Ricciardo, who believes he really should have been the one to sit on the top step. "That propelled him to another level and it also made me pretty upset because I was leading that race and had a three-stop strategy over his two-stop, and it cost me. So there was already things that were tilted."

Speaking to Crash.net Ricciardo continued his story: "I’m not saying it was planned at that time but just through the cause of events, it could have been very different that weekend and it shifted. Then his momentum was building in the team and for sure, there was then a little bit of that concern. That wasn’t the leading factor, or the biggest, but it was one of the core 30.”

Ricciardo had more reasons

Other things that Ricciardo played a role in deciding to leave Red Bull were, according to the Perth-based driver, that his race engineer Simon Rennie would be leaving and the fact that it might not have been possible to move to another team later after a contract extension at Red Bull. Indeed, Ricciardo was no longer the youngest of the bunch at that point either.

Since his departure from Red Bull at the end of 2018, Ricciardo only managed to score three more podium finishes. Twice he finished third on behalf of Renault and despite a difficult 2021 at McLaren, he did manage to win the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

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