Daniel Ricciardo denies his departure from Red Bull Racing last year was about shying away from team mate Max Verstappen as his former team boss Christian Horner has alleged.
Formula 1’s upcoming docuseries entitled “Formula One: Drive to Survive” which is set to premiere on Netflix next month includes a scene in which Horner questions Ricciardo’s decision to move to Renault.
“My assumption is that he is running from a fight,” asserts Horner in the film, alluding to the Aussie’s rivalry with Verstappen and the upper hand gained by the Dutchman over his team mate last season.
Ricciardo: ‘Honda has more problems to solve than Renault’
The pair enjoyed a harmonious relationship at Red Bull, but Ricciardo recently went on record to criticize his former team’s attitude in the aftermath of their dramatic collision in Baku which eliminated both drivers from the race on that day.
The incident was “one of the little pieces” that led to Ricciardo’s decision to part ways with the Milton Keynes outfit.
Speaking to Australia’s EFTM website, Renault’s new recruit addressed Horner’s alleged supposition and “running from a fight” remark.
“Firstly, and I’m sure he’s not the only one who has that opinion, I can see how people might want to think that or say that,” said Ricciardo.
“Everyone has an opinion. That hasn’t been pulled out of nowhere. It is what is – I obviously say no, not true. I love a good fight.
“It was more about me than Max. It was about me, a lot of reasons.
“One, I’ve stated a few times and I think some people will understand it, I was at Red Bull five years.
“They’d won four world titles and I joined straight after that. In five years, looking from that first year, I’m going to win a world title. That’s going to happen.
“It didn’t and we never really got close. I’m not bitter about it, that’s what happened.”
Ricciardo once again justified his decision to switch his allegiance to Renault because of the less attractive risk/reward he associated with Red Bull following its switch to Honda power.
“My ability to become more frustrated in this environment was too high and I just don’t want to be that kind of unhappy, bitter person that’s just always ‘what could have been’, or ‘if only I’ve joined Red Bull in 2013’,” he added.
“So, it wasn’t about Max. [But] I understand how some people might think that.”
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