Aug.22 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko says Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to quit Red Bull was “very strange”.
Australian Ricciardo caught Marko as well as the rest of the F1 world by surprise when he announced he is joining Renault for 2019.
“It’s a very strange story,” Marko told Servus TV.
“On Wednesday before Austria, we agreed. In Hungary, he told both me and Mr Mateschitz that he would sign at the test on Tuesday. He didn’t.
“On Thursday I got a call and his voice was funny. ‘We are adults, come to the point’ I told him. He said he’s going to Renault.
“I can only assume he does not believe in Honda and that Renault offered him a very high amount of money. But I think ‘shoeys’ will be very difficult for him in the near future,” Marko said.
Marko also acknowledged that, after a decade in the Red Bull programme, Ricciardo just needed a change, especially as the Renault engines are being dropped.
“Unlike Ricciardo, we have lost faith in Renault,” Marko admitted. “Their promise of being competitive never occurred. That’s why I took pleasure in the opportunity offered to us.
“We started with Toro Rosso but everything worked perfectly. And Honda will work even harder next year.
“We have a different approach to McLaren. They more or less dictated to Honda what the engine should look like. We simply tell them to build the best engine possible and we’ll somehow accommodate it.
“They have clearly made mistakes but this year with Toro Rosso we clearly see that things are improving. I’m sure we’ll be ahead of Renault next year,” he added.