Daniel Ricciardo to quit Red Bull for Renault after Max Verstappen given mega-bucks deal

DANIEL RICCIARDO has turned down a new deal with Red Bull and will join Renault on a two-year deal from next season.

The Aussie, who has been a Red Bull young driver since 2008, has seen team-mate Max Verstappen rewarded with a mega-bucks deal to stay with the Milton Keynes-based team.

 Daniel Ricciardo has announced that he will quit Red Bull

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Daniel Ricciardo has announced that he will quit Red Bull

It is understood that Ricciardo's offer was considerably less than what was offered to the Dutchman, who has since become the team's poster boy.

Ricciardo said: "It was probably one of the most difficult decisions to take in my career so far. But I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: "We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future.

"We would like to thank him for his dedication and the role he has played since joining the team in 2014, the highlights of course being the seven wins and the 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us.

 Christian Horner is yet to announce a replacement for Ricciardo

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Christian Horner is yet to announce a replacement for Ricciardo
 Pierre Gasly could step in from Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso

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Pierre Gasly could step in from Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso

"We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season.

"In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximising every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season."

Red Bull could promote Pierre Gasly from their sister team, Toro Rosso, as a replacement for Ricciardo, with Brit Lando Norris joining Toro Rosso from McLaren.

Ricciardo is fifth in the 2018 F1 drivers standings and won the races in China and Monaco.

A statement from Red Bull read: "Daniel Ricciardo has advised us that he is to leave the Team at the end of the 2018 season.

"Having joined the Red Bull family in 2008 as a member of the Red Bull Junior Team, with whom he won numerous junior titles, Daniel made his F1 debut in 2011 at the British Grand Prix.

"After two seasons with Scuderia Toro Rosso, Daniel joined us in 2014 and to date has brought the team seven victories, 29 podium finishes, two pole positions and 904 championship points."

Mercedes star Daniel Ricciardo gives rival Valtteri Bottas the finger after collision at Hungarian GP

DANIEL RICCIARDO has turned down a new deal with Red Bull and will join Renault on a two-year deal from next season.