BREAKING: Australia Formula One ace Daniel Ricciardo will leave Red Bull Racing at the end of this season to join Renault on a two year deal.
Ricciardo has been in negotiations for a new contract for the past few weeks and was expected to sign a new deal before F1 broke up for its summer holiday last weekend.
But with a deal unsigned as the Hungary F1 Grand Prix finished on Sunday, it appears a deal could not be reached.
Red Bull confirmed the news tonight in a statement on Twitter, and Renault later confirmed he would be joining them alongside Nico Hulkenburg next season.
"Daniel Ricciardo has advised us that he is to leave the team at the end of the 2018 season," said Red Bull in a media release.
Renault later added: "Renault Sport Formula One Team is pleased to confirm Daniel Ricciardo will join the team from the 2019 season. He will team up with current driver Nico Hülkenberg."
Renault Sport Racing President Jérôme Stoll hailed the Aussie's arrival saying: “Renault decided to come back to Formula One to fight for World Championships.
"Signing Daniel Ricciardo is a unique opportunity for the Groupe Renault towards this objective that could not be missed. We welcome Daniel’s arrival to our team, still in the making, but more motivated than ever.”
Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul added: “Daniel’s signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport.
"It is also a recognition of the work accomplished over the past two and a half seasons. Daniel’s undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team.
:We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best car possible. We welcome him to our growing team in 2019 with a great deal of pride, but also humility.”
Ricciardo joined Red Bull in 2008, winning several titles as a member of the Red Bull Junior Team. He made his F1 debut in 2011 at the British Grand Prix.
After two seasons with Scuderia Toro Rosso, Daniel joined the main Red Bull team in 2014 and won seven races with 29 podium finishes, two pole positions and 904 championship points.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner added: “We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future.
"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.”
Ricciardo is said to be upset at playing second fiddle to his team-mate Max Verstappen at Red Bull after the youngster got a vastly improved pay deal last year,
But the team has suffered a string of reliability issues with their Renault engine which has seen them swap suppliers for Honda from next season.
But insiders say Ricciardo is going to stick with Renault next season in pursuit of success.