Daniel Ricciardo says the uncertainty within the Formula 1 driver market wore “a little thin” in 2018 as he came to finalise his plans for the new season amid links to a number of teams.

Ricciardo was the highest-profile driver in the final year of his contract in 2018, and was widely expected to sign an extension with Red Bull, the team he had raced for since 2014.

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Despite links to title-fighting teams Ferrari and Mercedes for 2019, Ricciardo instead opted to sign with Renault on a two-year deal.

Ricciardo made up his mind about joining Renault at the beginning of August, with the deal being announced soon after, and has revealed that he had grown tired of not knowing where he stood with other teams.

“I knew talks would take a bit of time probably, trying to feel each other out, but it got to June/July, and maybe we had spoken a few times and we hadn't really got anywhere,” Ricciardo told ESPN.

“So if you want to tell me otherwise, I will move on, that's cool. 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. 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.”

Ricciardo said he felt Mercedes’ had “half a foot in the door” as it considered the Australian as a possible replacement for Valtteri Bottas in 2019, who it ultimately opted to retain alongside Lewis Hamilton.

“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,” Ricciardo said.

“Again, that was exciting, but it does keep the mind ticking a little bit."

 

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