Ricciardo told Honda switch not guided by emotions at Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo sought reassurances from Red Bull that the team’s switch to Honda power for next year was not rooted in negative emotions linked to its troubled relationship with Renault.

Red Bull Racing’s decision to work with Honda after an eventful twelve years with Renault is seen as an inherently risky move by the Milton Keynes-based outfit, given the Japanese manufacturer’s poor track record since its return to Grand Prix racing with McLaren in 2015, although both performance and reliability have positively improved this season with Toro Rosso.

After a massively successful period with Renault, and one that yielded multiple world titles, Red Bull has endured a roller-coaster ride with its engine supplier in the past few years.

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Ricciardo has yet to commit to Red Bull for 2019, but all signs point to an extension of the Aussie’s stay at Milton Keynes.

He nevertheless felt the need to understand why his current employer has decided to link its destiny to Honda.

“I’ve obviously heard the team out more than once and they’ve given me the reasons,” Ricciardo told Motorsport.com.

“The important thing to understand for me why they’ve done it, it can’t just be purely on emotions. Like, ‘It’s gone to shit with Renault, whatever, and we’re doing it because we want to change’.

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“They’ve obviously done their homework and they strongly believe that it is a good thing, not just on an emotional decision.

“They’ve done what they can to try and encourage me to make it happen.”

Indeed, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner justified the Honda decision to his driver, who apparently did “not really” need much convincing.

“We sat down and explained the rationale behind the changes we made,” said Horner.

“The reality is it’s time for change. We’ve been doing the same thing year after year, we’ve seen real progress with Honda, and it just feels the right time in our evolution to be going a different route.”

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