Horner: Daniel didn't want to play support to Max

Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing

Ricciardo announced last week that he would leave Red Bull and drive for Renault next year after signing a two-year contract with the French manufacturer.

"I've got huge respect for Fernando, he's a great, fantastic driver, but it would be very hard to see", Horner said.

However, Horner said he respected Ricciardo's wish to "have a leading role, perhaps in a smaller environment".

"I think Daniel decided after a long flight to America, he decided he wanted a change". "If you look at the rational reasons for that, it's hard to understand but Daniel obviously had his reasons".

Horner also discusses his own racing career, his rise to the role of Team Principal of Red Bull and the time he was quizzed by the Queen about the "Multi 21" controversy between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

The Red Bull boss said he actually offered Ricciardo a one-year deal in case he was waiting for a spot at Mercedes or Ferrari to open up in 2020.

"The competition between he and Max is intense". Max is growing stronger and stronger. I think he felt "I need to take something else on in this stage of my career".

"Daniel had his reasons".

'I think it comes back to wanting to take on a new challenge, but I also feel that he sees Max growing and growing, ' he said.

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"It's not that they were treated in any way different".

"[They would have been guaranteed] absolute equal status as they have always had [at Red Bull], but I can't help but feel that was a large part of Daniel's decision making".

"He's tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he's gone".

"We gave Daniel everything he wanted and asked for and it still wasn't enough".

Gasly, 22, says he isn't anxious that if he goes to Red Bull too soon, he could end up like Daniil Kvyat without a seat at all.

"We were even prepared to do a one-year agreement should Ferrari or Mercedes come knocking in twelve months' time", Horner confirmed.

"It wasn't about money or status, commitment or duration. If someone's heart is not really in it..."

'It might be an inspired choice it might be one that he regrets'. So I think we are going to sit back and just evaluate what the situation is and also see what comes out of the woodwork because it is an incredibly attractive vehicle to be driving.

'Daniel said he decided after a long flight to America that he decided he wanted a change, now you look at the rational reason for that and it's hard to understand.

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