Ricciardo had 'sleepless nights' about leaving Red Bull

Red Bull have already announced 22-year-old Frenchman Pierre Gasly will replace Ricciardo in 2019, a move that has raised eyebrows, with former driver Derek Daly questioning whether Gasly and Max Verstappen will be able to develop the vehicle to the same level Ricciardo was able to.

But Abiteboul said Ricciardo had reservations about Honda's power unit, despite positive noises from Toro Rosso and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insisting that Honda was a better long-term bet.

Horner responded at a news conference at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.

As has been common for Red Bull, promotion into the vacant seat came from within, and it was 22-year old Frenchman Gasly who got the call. "For me, it's a bye-bye, but who knows in the future". Outside F1 I am discovering other series outside motorsport which give you different challenges and makes you more complete driver.

Why did Alonso turn down Red Bull? But he sees Max growing and growing in terms of speed and strength and he doesn't want to play a support role ... not that they're in any way treated any different. "Fernando is a fantastic driver, but he's obviously chosen his path".

"But the third time he told me I realised it was for real and you just have to wish him well". "It was a very unusual situation anyhow", stated Marko while speaking to Austrian broadcaster Servus TV. I feel strong, I feel driving at a good level and I want to say bye bye to this sport when I feel strong, not when I feel not competitive, or I don't have any place to go or whatever, and you say bye bye.

Horner said Alonso's manager Flavio Briatore, a former Renault team boss, had made an enquiry as had Formula One's commercial rights holders Liberty Media about possible interest in the Spaniard.

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has said that the team has been honest and upfront in its contract talks with Daniel Ricciardo. I think it's probably shown, particularly on Sundays, the desire is still 100 percent there.

"From my point of view it makes me sad to move on but it makes me proud to know I was wanted". It got to a point when I felt I was ready for a change and a new challenge, just some fresh motivation.

Daniel Ricciardo may have signed for a better payday.

"Once I made that decision and pulled the trigger I felt comfortable with it and it feels right for next year ..."

"In Hungary, he said to both me and Mr. Mateschitz that everything fits, and he'll sign on Tuesday at the test".

"It's a massive step in my career and now I need to stay focused on the coming races because we are talking about next year but there are still nine races to go with Toro Rosso".

Perhaps, with Max Verstappen signed up till 2020, Ricciardo sensed that Red Bull was gravitating towards the young Dutchman.