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Daniel Ricciardo

Horner reveals call from Ricciardo after his Renault exit

Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of 2018 to join Renault, but after two years with the French team decided to move to McLaren for 2021. Christian Horner has revealed what Ricciardo said to him when they spoke after his Renault exit was announced.

Ricciardo
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To news overview © McLaren

Christian Horner has spoken about a phone conversation he shared with Daniel Ricciardo following the Australian's decision to leave the Renault team in 2020.

Ricciardo had left Red Bull at the end of 2018 to join the French outfit. However, things didn't work out in the long-term and the 32-year-old decided to sign for McLaren for the 2021 season.

Rather than there being bad blood following his exit from Red Bull, Horner says that Ricciardo joked about his departure when he called him during the lockdown in the first half of 2020.

"When he announced he was leaving Renault, he gave me a call in the shutdown last year," Horner told the Beyond The Grid podcast.

"I remember him saying, 'You're probably thinking I told you so, and yeah you did!' But yeah, that was his decision that he felt he needed to make at that time.

"He's still a great friend of the team. He's a great driver. I'm sad to see him having the struggles that he's having at the moment, but I'm sure he'll come through them."

When asked if he feels that Ricciardo might regret leaving Red Bull, Horner said: "You'd have to ask him that."

The team principal also insists that he's never asked the Australian about that "outright".

Ricciardo was a part of the Red Bull stable for most of his early years in Formula 1. In 2012 and 2013 he raced for the Toro Rosso outfit before making the step up to the main Red Bull team in 2014, the year in which he claimed his first three wins.

The 32-year-old went on to win a further four races with Red Bull in his remaining time with the Milton Keynes-based squad before leaving at the end of 2018.

Ricciardo has not won a race since, though earned two podium finishes with Renault in 2020. Since joining McLaren in 2021 he has struggled to become comfortable with the car and has been outperformed by teammate Lando Norris, though remains in eighth place in the Drivers' Standings with 40 points.

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