Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he based his decision to leave Renault in favour of McLaren for the 2021 F1 World Championship season over which project ultimately excited him the most looking forward.

Though delays to the 2020 F1 season mean Ricciardo is yet to start only his second season with the Renault F1 Team, he has already confirmed he will switch to McLaren for 2021 in place of Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz.

Reflecting on why the move was determined so early in the year, Ricciardo says he feared leaving it until July or August would see him frozen out of the best opportunities.


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“Vettel’s news with Ferrari sparked everything and things moved pretty quickly around Carlos and all the other stuff,” he told the F1 Nation podcast. “So, although it seemed as though there was still time, I don’t think there was to make movement.

“If we start racing in July, which even then wasn’t 100% but say we did, you’re going to wait until August until you really know where everyone is at. Then by then it felt like it would be too late to get something you were after.”

Describing McLaren as the team made the ‘biggest step of all’ in 2019, Ricciardo says that together with the upcoming switch to McLaren engines were the factors that piqued his interest.

“You get pitches from whichever team is talking to you and to some extent, especially now without having any races or proof other than last year, you have to believe which pitch excites you more than the other.

“You’re going with what you feel and think at the time but if I go back to last year, they were the team that made the most noise – Mercedes won the championship, but McLaren was the team that made the biggest step of all.

“So that was encouraging for them and that’s all you can really base it off, plus the pitch for the future. They are switching power units, there is a bit they are excited about. Even now talking about it is tough because it was by no means an easy decision, as you can imagine without having much to gauge from 2020.”