Fernando Alonso says he rejected Red Bull offer

Ricciardo Was Ready To Sign With Red Bull Before Announcing He’s Leaving For Renault

Ricciardo stressed on Thursday that his decision to move teams was motivated by a personal desire to embark on a fresh start, rather than any negative factors within the Red Bull camp. He joked that maybe Alonso had enticed Toro Rosso to drive for Toro Rosso in 2019.

"Just to be totally clear, there was no offer to Fernando Alonso for next year", Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on Friday.

"A couple of months ago, I decided it was the right time. I just felt part of the routine was causing that". There was a lot of good momentum and energy. "When I weighed it up the change of setting, a new challenge, are probably the answers I needed".

"He said he wanted a change".

"It all ended very amicably and basically they're sorry to see me go and appreciate what I've done and given to the team".

"And then this year, 2018, there were a lot of changes into the team and with the engine manufacturer changes and things like that".

It is another matter that despite a series of bad choices, Alonso is still regarded by some as the best driver on the grid, especially on race day.

"The thing that struck me about Renault was that they were prepared to be honest".

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"What I appreciate is the fact that Daniel has his position, his agenda, his situation, which I don't want to comment on", Abiteboul told Autosport.

He said of Ricciardo's trademark Shoey celebration for grands prix wins: "I think with Shoeys it will be hard for him in the near future". And I can't help but feel he wants to be a leading role perhaps in a smaller environment.

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. Helmut Marko, the head of the team's driver programme, said this week that the Australian driver had led him and other senior management figures to believe he would sign a deal, before calling back several days later to reveal his switch to Renault.

When asked about Marko's comments, he laughed and said: "It wasn't like that". "Let's say, a bit more like an adult, a man about it. I am not sure it [Renault] is the best scenery to go to". Understanding in many ways. I don't have a crystal ball to know what will happen. "And not a driver like Daniel Ricciardo, and that I respect".

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

By the way, the new season Red Bull will be performing at the Honda motors.

Ferrari had been planning before the sudden death of former president Sergio Marchionne last month to promote Monegasque Charles Leclerc from Sauber, but the new management is said to have had a rethink. In the end, the deal, we'd come to a happy place with it. That was I guess the long and short of it.

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