Renault have announced Daniel Ricciardo will drive for the team next year alongside Nico Hulkenberg.
The news comes after Red Bull announced the Australian will leave the team at the end of the current campaign. Ricciardo has agreed a two-year deal with his new team, keeping him at Renault until the end of the 2020 season.
The 29-year-old previously raced in Renault junior series between 2007 and 2011, and has used the Renault engine in F1 since joining Red Bull in 2014, securing seven Grand Prix wins during his career so far.
In a statement announcing the signing, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul said: “Daniel’s signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport. It is also a recognition of the work accomplished over the past two and a half seasons. Daniel’s undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team. We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best car possible. We welcome him to our growing team in 2019 with a great deal of pride, but also humility.”
Ricciardo added: “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. I realise that there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level but I have been impressed by their progression in only two years, and I know that each time Renault has been in the sport they eventually won. I hope to be able to help them in this journey and contribute on and off track.”
Ricciardo’s arrival at Renault alongside Hulkenberg also confirms that Carlos Sainz won’t have a race seat with the team next year. Sainz is currently at loan from Red Bull, and Ricciardo’s departure from the team potentially gives the Spaniard an opening there. However, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that they will evaluate a number of options before selecting Max Verstappen’s teammate for 2019.