Ricciardo dishes on shock Red Bull exit

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DANIEL Ricciardo has justified his surprise decision to leave Red Bull for Renault next year by saying he simply needed a change of scenery - but team mate Max Verstappen was not convinced.

"To be the best driver in the world there are two possibilities: winning eight world championships - quite unlikely now for me - and the second is to taste different series and different cars". "I guess I've kind of been bombarded with the questions already at the end of a year ago when (Red Bull teammate) Max (Verstappen) announced his extension with the team".

However, Autosport says that the new team will be allowed to keep the prize money it has won this season.

"There's been times this year that I've felt exhausted, maybe a bit jaded, and for the first time in my career, not completely enjoying F1", Ricciardo told Fairfax Media.

"To be clear, there was no falling out, no bad blood with anyone in the team, the bosses or anyone", he told a news conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix on Thursday, adding that it had not been an easy decision to make. Winning next year is still unlikely but I think the process over the course of the next 12-18 months will be quite good and encouraging.

"I never said I was unloved", he said. "Life changes very quickly".

Instead, the Aussie agreed on a two-year deal to join Renault, Red Bull's soon-to-be-ex engine partner.

He added: "It is not something I knew for weeks or months".

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"I have a contract for two years, but the intention is to stay longer and achieve successes together".

Its power units, supplied by Renault, aren't on the same level with what the Silver Arrows and Scuderia have in their cars and it's cost Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen race wins. The desire to be back on top appears strong, and the team's progression has been impressive, so much so Williams F1 deputy principal Claire Williams described it as "phenomenal".

Alonso, meanwhile, has his sights firmly set on the Triple Crown as he tries to cement his legacy in racing.

The 29-year-old admitted he experienced a few sleepless nights as he weighed up his options before committing to Renault - but now believes he has settled on the right decision for him.

When asked by Ted Kravitz whether Red Bull was the team that offered him to replace Daniel Ricciardo, Alonso replied with: "Yes".

During an interview with Sky Sports F1, Alonso reveals that he was offered a deal by one of the three leading times, but felt it wasn't the case for him to join and wanted to explore more challenges within Motorsport.

"One, they have never worked with me". Thus, something must have changed that caused one of the most talented drivers on the grid to shock his team with his decision to move to Renault.