Red Bull boss Christian Horner slams Daniel Ricciardo for leaving the team – calling decision to knock back ‘stratospheric’ offer ‘spectacularly bad timing’ as Aussie struggles at McLaren
- Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo was prized away from Red Bull in 2018
- Moved across to rivals McLaren, the move hasn’t paid off in the eyes of many
- Ricciardo’s former boss at Red Bull said defection was ‘spectacularly bad timing’
- The Australian Grand Prix will be staged at Albert Park in Melbourne on April 10
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has unloaded on Aussie F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo for leaving the team back in 2018, declaring he turned his back on a ‘stratospheric offer’ in what amounted to ‘spectacularly bad timing.’
Perth-born Ricciardo, 32, shocked the Formula One paddock by defecting to Renault in 2019, then switched to McLaren for the 2021 season and has struggled badly ever since.
Many insiders believe he is living in the shadow of his younger McLaren teammate Lando Norris.
Despite being the number two driver, at just 22 Norris is believed to earn more than Ricciardo’s reported $17million a year.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has unloaded on Aussie F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo for leaving the team back in 2018, declaring he turned his back on a ‘stratospheric offer’
Daniel Ricciardo with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horne in happier times at the Mexico Grand Prix in 2018
Albert Park in Melbourne will host the Australian Grand Prix on April 10 – with Ricciardo expected to be down the back of the field in his uncompetitive McLaren while the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez compete up the front
Horner recognised Ricciardo’s talent from a young age, nurturing him through the team’s second-tier F1 outfit, Toro Rosso.
He then promoted Ricciardo to replace fellow Aussie Mark Webber before he joined forces with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull in 2014.
Ricciardo unexpectedly left four years later in a move which dumbfounded Horner at the time.
‘We put offers in front of him that were stratospheric,’ he told News Corp.
‘But Daniel could see Max (Verstappen) in the ascendancy and he didn’t want to become the second driver.’
Horner added the timing couldn’t have been worse for Ricciardo, who thought the team’s Honda engine wouldn’t be competitive, but was proved wrong when the Japanese manufacturer solved teething problems to produce a top power unit.
Horner went onto state that Ricciardo is a ‘great driver with a big personality’ and that Red Bull were sad to see him jump ship.
The Australian Grand Prix will be staged at Albert Park on April 10.
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