Red Bull's 'stratospheric' offer to Daniel Ricciardo comes to light

Christian Horner and Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here in 2022.
Christian Horner has revealed Daniel Ricciardo rejected a 'stratospheric' offer to stay at Red Bull. Image: Getty

Christian Horner has revealed Daniel Ricciardo rejected a “stratospheric” multimillion-dollar offer to stay at Red Bull before his ill-fated move to Renault.

Ricciardo shocked the F1 world back in 2018 when he walked out on Red Bull to take up a two-year deal with French rivals Renault.

After many years as Red Bull's No.1 driver, the Aussie didn't want to play second fiddle to Max Verstappen when it became clear the Dutchman was the emerging star.

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Ricciardo's two years at Renault were nothing short of a disaster and he has since moved on to McLaren.

However his first year at the British team wasn't much to write home about either and he was constantly overshadowed by teammate Lando Norris.

Despite breaking a two-year title drought when he won the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo finished 2021 in eighth place on the driver's standings.

Ricciardo's decision to leave Red Bull continues to haunt him, with Verstappen winning the world championship in 2021 and new teammate Sergio Perez featuring on the podium a number of times.

And in a staggering twist, Red Bull boss Horner has now revealed how Ricciardo shunned a massive offer from the team to stay.

Speaking to The Australian, Horner said Red Bull “put offers in front of him that were stratospheric”.

“Daniel could see Max in the ascendancy and he didn’t want to become the second driver,” Horner told the publication.

“His timing was spectacularly bad because obviously, he had doubts about the Honda engine and then (Honda) went on to prove there it was a competitive power unit and a race winning package.

"Daniel is a great driver and we were sad when he decided to leave the team.

“And, you know it’s unfortunately not worked out for him the way he would have liked and he’s a great driver.

“He’s got great natural abilities, a big personality. Of course now he’s got a competitive teammate as well. It’s given him a hard time and you know, that’s tough for him.’’

Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here speaking with Christian Horner in 2019 after his move to Renault.
Daniel Ricciardo speaks with Christian Horner in 2019 after his move to Renault. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) (Dan Istitene via Getty Images)

Formula One adds night race on Las Vegas strip

Elsewhere this week, Formula One announced a deal to stage a night race on the famous Las Vegas strip.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix, a major coup for the sport's American owners Liberty Media, joins the calendar next season on an expected initial three-year contract.

It is anticipated that the race will be staged in the the second half of November, possibly to coincide with Thanksgiving weekend in America, and could start as late as 10pm local time.

The race will also defer from recent F1 tradition by taking place on a Saturday.

The announcement comes as a welcome boost to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali after the sport controversially pressed ahead with last weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix despite fierce opposition from Lewis Hamilton and his fellow drivers following a missile strike just 19km east of the Jeddah circuit.

"This is an incredible moment for Formula One that demonstrates the huge appeal and growth of our sport with a third race in the US," said Domenicali.

"Las Vegas is a destination known around the world for its excitement, hospitality, thrills, and of course, the famous Strip.

"There is no better place for Formula One to race than in the global entertainment capital of the world and we cannot wait to be here next year."

with AAP

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