Daniel Ricciardo will never be forgiven for ditching Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of 2018 to join Renault, amid growing tensions with Max Verstappen at the team.

Former Ferrari and Williams team manager Peter Windsor has revealed that he’ll “never forgive” Daniel Ricciardo for leaving Red Bull for Renault at the end of 2018, something which left him “disappointed”.

After being promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in 2014 to replace Mark Webber, Ricciardo made an instant impact at the Milton Keynes-based team.

In his one and only season alongside four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo defeated the German in the Drivers’ Championship, before Vettel switched to Ferrari.

Interestingly, Ricciardo was then beaten by Daniil Kvyat in 2015, although the Australian was very much seen as Red Bull’s lead driver.

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However, that started to change from the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix onwards, when Red Bull suddenly promoted Max Verstappen to replace Kvyat.

Whilst Ricciardo often had the better of the reigning World Champion initially, Verstappen soon became the stronger driver, resulting in claims that the Dutchman was being given preferential treatment.

The pair went onto infamously crash into each other at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, in what was in many ways one of the final nails in the coffin for Ricciardo’s time at Red Bull.

He shocked the F1 world by announcing that he’d be leaving the Austrians at the end of 2018 to move to midfield team Renault, where he received a sizeable salary.

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Whilst he did well for Renault, he was never in a position to replicate his Red Bull success, purely due to the position of the team.

After two years at Renault, he then jumped ship again and went to McLaren, where his deal for three seasons was terminated after two.

Completing the cycle almost, Ricciardo then returned to Red Bull this season as their development driver, but was put in Nyck de Vries’ place from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

With him having now been given a deal to race for AlphaTauri next season, Ricciardo is very hungry to race for Red Bull again, something many suspect will happen in 2025.

Windsor is hopeful that everything will work out for the 34-year-old, although he admits that he’ll “never forgive” the Aussie for leaving the leading side in the first place.

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“I’m a big Daniel fan, always have been, lovely guy, I’ll just never forgive him for leaving Red Bull though,” Windsor said on his YouTube stream.

“For me, it doesn’t matter what the situation is, you don’t leave a team as good as that to go and do what he did. I was disappointed that he did that.

“I know he’s got another chance now and I hope it goes well for him, but I just wish he’d never done that.”