Ricciardo to leave Red Bull amid Renault reports

Despite previously suggesting he would commit to a new contract with Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo will leave the team at the end of the year.

Departing Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo   -  Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo will leave Red Bull at the end of the 2018 Formula One season, amid reports he has agreed a deal to join Renault.

The Australian's future has been a source of great debate throughout the current campaign, with his contract in its final year, but he had suggested a new deal would be agreed during the mid-season break.

However, with talk of a switch to Renault emerging on Friday, Red Bull announced that Ricciardo has confirmed his intention to quit the team.

"We fully respect Daniel's decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future," said team principal Christian Horner.

"We would like to thank him for his dedication and the role he has played since joining the team in 2014, the highlights, of course, being the seven wins and the 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us."

"We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season. In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximising every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season," he said.

Ricciardo won two of the first six races of 2018, prompting defending champion Lewis Hamilton to declare a three-way title fight with the Red Bull man and Sebastian Vettel.

However, Ricciardo's form has tailed off and he has not been on the podium since, lying fifth in the standings, 95 points behind Hamilton.

The 29-year-old could replace Carlos Sainz Jr at Renault, with the Spaniard on loan from Red Bull for the 2018 season.

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has previously spoken of discussing a long-term plan with Sainz as contract talks were mooted.