After Ferrari’s four-time champion Sebastian Vettel made the shock decision to step away from the iconic F1 team, rumours have been swirling that other drivers may be on the move. On Thursday, Australia’s own Daniel Ricciardo became the first to officially announce his exit from Renault, declaring that in 2021, he will drive for British giant McLaren.
I am so grateful for my time with @renaultf1team and the way I was accepted into the team. But we aren’t done and I can’t wait to get back on the grid this year. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong. Merci pic.twitter.com/YFfzbwrgD7
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) May 14, 2020
At first, rumours suggested Ricciardo would be the natural replacement for Vettel, joining the team’s remaining driver, Charles Leclerc. Ricciardo’s announcement shot that down in flames, however, revealing that the Aussie dynamo will instead be joining McLaren’s Lando Morris for the upcoming season.
The move is the second in Ricciardo’s career. Back in 2019, he switched sides from Red Bull Racing to Renault, however, a nightmarish run of poor results and a failure to hit the podium led to some dissatisfaction in the ranks. Despite that, Ricciardo still thanked the Renault time for his time.
“I am so grateful for my time with Renault and the way I was accepted into the team,” he said in a Twitter statement. “But we aren’t done and I can’t wait to get back on the grid this year. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong. Merci”
With a new team backing him, 2021 could be the year we finally see Ricciardo live up to his lofty potential.