Webber: 'I think we're all a bit concerned about it'


Former F1 driver Mark Webber hasn't changed his stance on Daniel Ricciardo's decision to leave Red Bull for Renault, and admits to being concerned about his countryman's prospects ahead of 2019.

After a decade with the Red Bull family, seven of which were spent in F1, Ricciardo has opted for a change of scenery, switching his allegiance to Renault for 2019 and 2020.

The Aussie's choice came as a surprise, even as a shock to many, including Red Bull Racing team manager Christian Horner who was sad to bid farewell to a man who brought seven wins to the Milton Keynes outfit since 2014.

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But Webber, who clinched every single one of his nine F1 wins with Red Bull, was among the first to tell the Honey Badger that he was making a mistake. And the 42-year-old retiree hasn't changed his view on the matter.

"I think we're all a bit concerned about it," Webber told Macquarie Sports Radio.

"The people in the industry would have liked him to [stay]. I'm still reasonably close to Red Bull. I've had the odd dinner with Daniel. He knows where my position is on this – it hasn't changed.

"I would have loved him to stay at Red Bull."

While Red Bull may well endure a year of transition in 2019 as it builds its new partnership with engine supplier Honda, Webber contends that Renault will likely struggle even more in its efforts to match the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari.

"I think the funding and the backing and with Honda coming, I don't think they'll be incredibly strong next year," added Webber.

"But by 2020, I think they could be a very special outfit to be with again. To get the results that Red Bull are going to get next year is going to be challenging for him to say the least.

"Renault... want budget caps, head count caps, they want all sort of decreases in salaries across the board to get the parity of the sport up there.

"I think when you've just arrived there as a driver, and you have a team that's giving that sort of position, that's a concern."

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