Mercedes troll Red Bull over Daniel Ricciardo's departure

It’s all kicking off in the world of Formula One at the moment.

Earlier this morning, reports broke claiming that Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo will leave Red Bull for Renault at the end of the 2018 season.

Renault confirmed the news on their website shortly after, saying that Ricciardo will join Nico Hulkenberg as part of their driving team in 2019.

This news came as a shock after, just earlier this week, Ricciardo suggested he would extend his deal with Red Bull during the summer break.

The Australian quickly made a U-turn on this decision, however, after reportedly being fed up with living in Max Verstappen’s shadow.

Now, one of Red Bull’s fiercest competitors have chimed in on the matter, rubbing salt into Red Bull’s very fresh wounds.

Mercedes were linked with Ricciardo before securing new deals for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

On their official Twitter, the Mercedes F1 team posted a photo of an empty contract captioned ‘#Announce…’, jokingly suggesting they will swoop in for the driver.

The 29-year-old will still have to see out the remaining nine races of the season as a Red Bull driver.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner thanked Ricciardo for his contributions to the team over the last five seasons. 

He said: “We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in the future.

“We would like to thank him for his dedication and the role he has played since joining the team in 2014, the highlights, of course, being the seven wins and 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us.”

However, it still remains unclear who will be the man to replace Ricciardo.

Fernando Alonso could be an option as he looks to return to a big team, as well as youngster Charles Leclerc.

Horner continued: “We will now evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season.”

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