Ricciardo: 'I will remember this great team, these people, forever'


Before moving on to a new chapter in his career, Daniel Ricciardo paid a heartfelt tribute to the team and company that put him on the F1 map.

The Aussie's 2018 season kicked off nicely with two race wins early on - in China and Monaco - but completely went downhill thereafter on the back of a collection of mechanical failures.

Frustrations ensued for the Honey Badger who also had a blindingly fast and furious team mate to deal with.

Ultimately, a change of scenery appeared in order for Ricciardo although it's uncertain whether Renault will provide him with a greener pasture on which he shall flourish.

Regardless of this season's shortfalls, the memories linked to his decade with the Red Bull family will always be cherished.

"At times, this season has been incredibly difficult. I’ve talked about rolling with the punches … but man, even I get sore after a while," said Ricciardo, speaking to The Players Tribune.

"I’m human. But I really want you all to hear this: I hope everyone understands that Red Bull is so much more than a brand. It’s a family, it’s a statement of what’s possible.

"If a team can do all this; win football leagues, build the fastest cars, sign the best gamers, run air races, what are we all capable of? Red Bull just does rad s***, and I have loved being a part of it.

"I feel incredibly privileged to have driven for Red Bull Racing and been part of the Red Bull family for 10 years."

Looking back, there's obviously no reminiscing without including a thought on the man who, in large part, has made it all happen for Ricciardo.

"They gave me my break, and without Dr. Marko spotting me all those years ago, I don’t think I would have been able to make my way to F1, to my dream job.

"I will remember this team, these great people, this family, forever."


Many months of mulling, pondering, analysis and introspection preceded Ricciardo's decision to leave his surrogate family. In the end however, he let his heart do the talking.

"I needed to listen to my heart, I needed to go it alone and make my own decision. Change is scary — it’s f****** terrifying," he admits.

"And I know the next part of my journey won’t always be easy, but I had to take this step to try to be the best version of me. That’s all it was. It was the next step, the next leap, a new challenge.

"I’m going to Renault next year, and I’m going with an open mind and a full heart.

"Nobody has a crystal ball, or can predict the future or the results of my decision, but nonetheless a decision was made.

"But for now I want to end this year strong. It’s not going to be easy, mentally. I know that."

The 29-year-old is heading into an emotional weekend. And come what may, he'll let it all out.

"Each lap I turn in the car will mean one lap closer to my last in a Red Bull race suit," he said.

"And when I get out for the final time in Abu Dhabi.… I think I’m going to have a right good cry.

"Maybe a few of ’em. Then winter will come, I’ll go meet my new Renault friends, and I’ll start anew."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter