Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is leaving the MK-based team to join Renault at the start of the 2019 season.

The Australian leaves after four years in F1 with the full Red Bull team, during which time he has won 7 races.

Ricciardo, who has won the Chinese and Monaco Grand Prix races in the current season, has signed a 2 year contract with Renault, and will partner Nico Hulkenburg. He will replace Carlos Sainz.

The 29-year-old said, “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.”

The Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner thanked the Australian for his service. He also stated the team will take time to decide who will partner Max Verstappen next season.

He said, “We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his 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 the 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us.

“We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season. In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximising every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season.”