Daniel Ricciardo - Renault switch one of the toughest decisions I've ever made

See you later Red Bull

See you later Red Bull

Of course, Red Bull's competitiveness next year is by no means certain given they will switch to Honda power units, so at least he is now at a works team.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo will end his long relationship with Red Bull and join Renault on a two-year deal next season in a surprise announcement that jolted Formula One ahead of its August shutdown.

"We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season", Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said in a statement.

"It was probably one of the most hard decisions to take in my career so far", Ricciardo Renault's statement confirming his deal.

Ricciardo's arrival leaves Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who is on loan from Red Bull alongside Germany's Nico Hulkenberg, looking for a new home.

But as the Australian confirms, the 29-year-old has nine races left in the RB vehicle and is desperate to go out on a high!

Renault's first F1 season was nominally 1977, although they only had one driver, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, and he only entered five races, without finishing a single one.

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Daniel Ricciardo, who won in Monaco with Red Bull in May, has chose to switch to Renault for next season.

Renault's team president Jerome Stoll and their Managing Direction Cyril Abiteboul know the signing will help in the teams' push to reclaim another title. Renault finished ninth in 2016 with Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen in the paddock but upped their game in 2017 with Nico Hulkenberg scoring the majority of the team's points as they finished sixth. In addition, Red Bull has made a decision to switch to Honda engine ditching Renault engine from 2019 over reliability issues.

The unexpectedly open seat at Red Bull is now one of the most appealing targets on the F1 grid for next season. Rumours peaked at the French Grand Prix but subsequently subsided as it appeared that the Australian had made a decision to stay put at Red Bull.

Full statement from Red Bull 'Daniel Ricciardo has advised us that he is to leave the Team at the end of the 2018 season.

At Haas, one of two Ferrari "satellite" teams, the likely pairing for 2019 is current driver Jan Magnussen with Charles Leclerc, who will be promoted from Alfa Romeo-Sauber on the way to an eventual drive at Ferrari. In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximising every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season'.

Renault team president Jerome Stoll said the signing underlined their ambition: "Renault chose to come back to Formula One to fight for World Championships".

"Red Bull is a great racing team but I think Fernando has got what he wants to do in the back of his mind".

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