Ricciardo: "Bad blood" didn't force his move away from Red Bull

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Red Bull have already announced 22-year-old Frenchman Pierre Gasly will replace Ricciardo in 2019, a move that has raised eyebrows, with former driver Derek Daly questioning whether Gasly and Max Verstappen will be able to develop the auto to the same level Ricciardo was able to.

Red Bull earlier this week revealed Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly will be promoted to partner star driver Max Verstappen next year.

"I guess I've kind of been bombarded with the questions already at the end of previous year when (Red Bull teammate) Max (Verstappen) announced his extension with the team".

Verstappen a year ago signed up to Red Bull through 2020 and the Dutchman believes his current team-mate has not chosen the best place for his future.

While he admitted that there was an incident in Baku and other issues, he said: "But as far as equality went within the team, probably from the outside sometimes people probably thought that, but hand on heart, there was never any concern with that or any sign of that".

Most pundits - along with Red Bull boss Christian Horner - expected the 29-year-old to re-sign with the Milton Keynes-based outfit and Ricciardo himself had hinted he would stay put after acknowledging a move to Mercedes or Ferrari wasn't feasible.

Why did Alonso turn down Red Bull?

"Once I pulled the trigger I felt comfortable with it".

"If it was for a change of scenery I'm not sure it was the best scenery to go to". I told him: 'Get to the point! Straight away, they said, "We're not going to be quicker than Red Bull next year", but what they told me about their plans for 2020 and for when the next rule changes come in for '21.

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I also feel he sees Max growing and growing in terms of speed and strength and he doesn't want to play a support role I guess, for want of better words, said Horner.

Alonso has famously made a series of poor career decisions, including turning down a chance to join Red Bull in time for their domination of the early 2010s, and leaving Ferrari at the end of 2014 believing they would never produce a competitive vehicle.

Alonso said this month that Liberty had tried to make him change his mind about leaving F1 amid speculation McLaren will enter IndyCar with Alonso as one of its drivers.

"So as I said for me it is a bye bye, but who knows what will happen in the future?"

Speaking about a potential move to a midfield team like Renault in June, Ricciardo said it would have "some appeal" but was not "top of my list" as getting his hands on a championship-calibre auto was a priority. "It's what I will try to find in 2019". Not easy to make and not easy to break to for the team, but personally within myself I feel it's a good thing for me. "And not a driver like Daniel Ricciardo, and that I respect".

Ferrari had been planning before the sudden death of former president Sergio Marchionne last month to promote Monegasque Charles Leclerc from Sauber, but the new management is said to have had a rethink.

"And the F1 we're seeing now was maybe not the F1 I dreamed of as a kid or when I joined in 2001".

"The way the momentum had been going, we'd been talking since February about this", he told Sky Sports in Belgium.