Daniel Ricciardo: 'I expected Sebastian Vettel to leave'

German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel celebrates his victory in the Brazil F-1 GP on November 24, 2013
© Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel's decision to leave Red Bull didn't come as a shock, according to teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that Sebastian Vettel's departure from the former constructors' champions didn't come as a complete surprise.

The four-time world champion will leave the Milton Keynes-based outfit at the end of the season, to be replaced by Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat.

However, Ricciardo has suggested that the chance to drive at a rival team may have been an opportunity that was too good to turn down for the 27-year-old German racer.

He is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "I expected him to leave, so I wasn't shocked when he announced he was leaving.

"The way I see it, he has won four titles with Red Bull and obviously he has an opportunity elsewhere.

"Before he sees himself getting a bit too old for the sport, he probably wants another challenge."

Ricciardo is currently third in the drivers' rankings, 56 points ahead of Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull prepares to drive during practise for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 15, 2014
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