Ricciardo accepts that Red Bull and Honda could 'kill it' in 2019

Pole for Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB14 and 2nd for Max Verstappen
© XPB 

Daniel Ricciardo says he has "come to terms" with the prospect of Red Bull-Honda and Max Verstappen perhaps enjoying a banner year in 2019.

Ricciardo's shock decision to leave the Red Bull family and switch his allegiance to Renault was perceived by most as a step back for the Aussie.

Indeed, as he banks on the longer term future, the seven-time Grand Prix winner knows he won't be fighting for race wins this year with the French outfit.

But Ricciardo also knows there's a risk - albeit perhaps a small one - that his former team and its star driver get it right in 2019, a thought he admits needed time to sink in when he pondered his future last summer.

"Actually, part of the decision-making for me, I put myself in the mindset of ‘What if Honda and Red Bull kill it, and what if Max becomes World Champion?'" Ricciardo told RACER.

"So I had already played that through my head and become OK with it, or come to terms with it.

"I think at the end of the day, the way I saw it was one of the big things that led me back was I just felt like I needed change regardless.

"Even if the team kills it in 2019, I don’t know if I would be convinced that I would be getting everything out of it, if that makes sense.

"So I’ve come to terms with however it’s going to play out, and I believe regardless it’s the right thing for me."

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing

After eight seasons of Grand Prix racing, five of which spent with front-runner Red Bull Racing, Ricciardo is still chasing the world title.

Adverse circumstances and misfortune often combined at Red Bull to keep that dream at bay, but the 29-year-old hasn't allowed himself to play the regret game.

"I guess as well I never really had many other options anyway, so it’s not like I could have signed with Mercedes two years ago and I didn’t want to or whatever. So no regrets. I’m happy," he added.

"I look at 2018 and 2015; there’s been some frustrating years for sure, but I’m always happy with the way I approach it.

"I don’t look back and say ‘Ah, if I would have worked harder then I wouldn’t be in this position and I would have made things better for myself’.

"I don’t ever feel like I’ve cheated myself, and some of my best weekends have been when I’ve been more chilled about it and less intense.

"But I think I’ve found that balance, so no regrets."

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