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Messy divorce: Red Bull to handicap Ricciardo’s Renault start

RED Bull are doing all they can to not give Daniel Ricciardo any advantage as he prepares for the 2019 season with Renault.

The Aussie, who is leaving the Milton Keynes outfit at the end of the current season, opted to join Renault for next year after a frustrating campaign which has seen him retire from seven races – the latest of which was during last weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin.

And Red Bull still seem unimpressed with his decision and are refusing to release him from his contract early to compete in the Pirelli tyre test after the final GP of the season in Abu Dhabi.

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Dejected Dan trudges off0:00

Formula 1: A dejected Daniel Ricciardo trudges off after another retirement for the season, this time at the US Grand Prix.

The tyre test at Yas Marina circuit is the only chance drivers who are changing teams get to test their new cars before the year ends.

However, while the likes of Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Pierre Gasly will take part in the testing, Red Bull will not allow Ricciardo the opportunity to go the same with Renault.

Red Bull are divorcing from current engine supplier Renault in favour of Honda next year and Ricciardo seems to have been caught in the crossfire between team and supplier.

“I’m not allowed to test,” admitted Ricciardo. “I can’t drive for Red Bull and they won’t let me drive for Renault. So it is okay. I can have a holiday.”

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Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish a race for the seventh time at the US GP.Source:AFP

His current team principle, Christian Horner, played down the dispute and put it down to the “simple” case of the Australian’s contract with the team.

“He’s under contract past that date, so he won’t be doing the test,” Horner told motorsport.com. “There was a question, ‘Is he available?’ It’s very clear that he’s not, so it’s very simple.

“They just asked what his availability was, and he’s not available. He’s still got obligations to tidy up until the end of his contract.”

Originally published as Messy divorce: Red Bull to handicap Ricciardo’s Renault start

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