2019 Renault F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his frustration after being ignored by Mercedes and Ferrari as the Australian looked for a switch from former team Red Bull. Throughout 2018, Ricciardo was constantly being linked to the respective teams before a shock announcement that he would drive for Renault in 2019.
It was reported that Ricciardo held talks with both teams in 2018, and felt that he was deserving of a chance with either team. He also explained that despite recognising the sense behind Ferrari's decision to take on Charles Leclerc in 2019, he did feel as if he had a chance with Mercedes. He also expressed that due to his performances in the first half of 2018, he was eager to make the right impression.
"Especially after the first six races. I won two out of six, so it was Seb, Lewis and me who had won two each. At that stage no one else was really touching us, " Ricciardo told Sky F1. "I felt like my pull, so to speak, couldn't have been any higher. In a way, I did expect probably more out of that, and at the time I think rightly so."
Ricciardo suffered greatly in 2018 from reliability problems and constant breakdowns, seeing the Australian driver suffer eight retirements over the season. This had a negative effect on his standings, seeing former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen finish ahead of him in the championship. He ultimately decided upon a switch to Renault after last years Hungarian Grand Prix.
"I guess for them it's more conservative, but I can't argue because it's worked," Ricciardo commented on Mercedes. "Lewis has won Drivers' Championships and the team has won Constructors' Championships, so in a way they've ticked all the boxes they need."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing