2009 world champion Jenson Button has opened up on what he thought of Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault last year, admitting he could never understand why Ricciardo decided to switch Red Bull for the French squad.
Ricciardo left Red Bull after five seasons at the end of 2018 to partner Nico Hulkenberg at the team, but last May announced he would depart the team at the end of the year to replace Carlos Sainz at McLaren.
Button suggested Ricciardo sometimes questioned his move to Renault, but commended the Australian driver for being able to better teammate Hulkenberg, who left the team at the end of last year, in his first season with the team.
“I even said to Daniel ‘I don’t get your decision to move to Renault’,” said Button, speaking recently to the In The Fast Lane podcast.
“I’m sure he’s questioned it at times, as you always do as a driver when you step backwards.
“I know he’s being paid a lot of money at Renault, but he would have also been paid a lot at Red Bull so I don’t think it’s a cash issue.
“I think it goes back to not feeling equal with your team-mate and not feeling wanted in the team, and I think that’s the reason why he made that move.
“He’s spent a couple of years at Renault…I’m probably more impressed with what he’s done at Renault than with what he did at Red Bull. To have one over on [former teammate] Nico Hulkenberg in his first year  is very impressive.”
Button also spoke about Ricciardo's move to McLaren for 2021, claiming it will be a move that will 'make or break' his F1 career.
Button, who raced at McLaren from 2010 until his retirement at the end of 2016, noted how the switch made a lot more sense than Ricciardo's previous move to Renault, especially with McLaren using Mercedes power units from next season onwards.
“This move to McLaren, it’s make or break for his career,” Button commented.
“He’s still young, but you’ve got to start moving towards a team that can give you race wins and hopefully fight for the Championship. It’s an important move for him. A McLaren with a Mercedes in the back should be very competitive.”
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