Formula 1 fans are eagerly awaiting to see what Daniel Ricciardo do in a Renault seat during 2019.
The Australian announced his decision to join the French team in August, marking the end of a four-year spell at Red Bull.
Ricciardo was always going to attract attention across the competition after finishing third in the drivers’ standings twice since 2014, claiming seven race wins and 29 podiums.
Given his impressive numbers, it came something of a surprise that the 29-year-old chose to leave arguably the closest rival to Mercedes and Ferrari.
That said, Ricciardo has recently explained just how complicated it was to split with Red Bull.
The former Toro Rosso man expected negotiations - particularly with the two frontrunners - to be a gruelling ride.
When asked about the uncertainty around a Mercedes seat, Ricciardo explained he had several meetings with their representatives that yielded little progress.
Seemingly revealing the root of the issue, ESPN understands Toto Wolff vacillated between extending Valtteri Bottas’ contract or replacing him with Ricciardo.
While most thought the prospect Ricciardo joining Mercedes or Ferrari was doomed much earlier in the year, he claims he was going back and forth with the former until “June/July”.
“I guess it gets to the point like that with everyone where you want a black or white answer and that's it. I guess the games can wear a little thin,” he said.
“I don't even know if it's games but circling around the edges, it's like - just go straight in! But these are all things I will learn and I am sure there will be another time in my career where I will need to go through this process again. I am sure there's things I will do differently. I don't necessarily have any regrets, it's all just a learning process.
“I guess on one hand I had teams that really wanted me and then on the other there were teams that were kind of half the foot in the door but not really... so Mercedes and that. At times it was confusing for sure and obviously you're trying to figure out what is real and what isn't, who's genuine and who is not. Again that was exciting but it does keep the mind ticking a little bit.”
Thankfully, Ricciardo can now look forward to driving a promising Renault car in 2019.
Where will Ricciardo finish in the drivers’ standings with his new team? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.