Fernando Alonso move to Red Bull discussed by Christian Horner

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen is sixth in the Drivers Championship

Ricciardo stunned the Formula One world last week when he announced he was leaving Red Bull after five seasons and seven race wins, to join Renault in 2019.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has given Renault-bound Formula1 ace Daniel Ricciardo a clip about his shock switch.

'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.

"I think we're going to sit back and evaluate what the situation is, see what comes out".

'By far the toughest decision I've made in my racing career, but 29 years living on this earth it was actually one of the toughest life decisions I've made, ' he said.

"It then became very clear that was his choice and you have to respect that".

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"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".

"They would have equal status, as they have always had", he insists.

Horner added: "I could understand if it was to Ferrari or Mercedes".

To put things into perspective, Alonso is 37-years old, whereas Red Bull-contracted drivers such as Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz are 22 and 23 respectively.

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

Red Bull have ruled out Fernando Alonso replacing Ricciardo next season.

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"Daniel's had conversations with Dietrich, with myself, with Helmut and we have bent over backwards to make it happen, but if your heart is not really in it then.it's just felt like that".

'Personally I felt it was a time now where it is good for me to move on and have a fresh start somewhere else and I think it will be healthy for me, ' he said.

"In the end we gave Daniel everything he wanted and asked for and it still wasn't enough". We were even prepared to do a one-year agreement so he was available to Ferrari or Mercedes should they come knocking in 12 months' time.

"It wasn't about money, it wasn't about status, position, commitment, or duration".

Acknowledging Ricciardo's gamble on Renault "may prove an inspired choice or something he regrets", Horner also admitted he was caught by surprise when his driver informed him he was departing to Red Bull's engine providers.

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