The 2018 season has begun with uncertainty hanging over the heads of two key top drivers' futures.
"This was Toto's mistake," he told Sport Bild.
"He made an attempt to lure Sebastian Vettel and then Max Verstappen but both rejected the offer. This prompted Lewis to raise his price.
"We would never pay such money. That's why we created a junior team. We gave a chance to Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen instead of paying huge sums to Hamilton or Alonso. The contracts with our drivers are only 20 pages."
Red Bull may now struggle to hang on to Australian Ricciardo, though, with the latest rumour suggesting that he may even have signed a Ferrari 'pre-agreement'.
When asked about his future, Ricciardo said in Bahrain: "You're not going to hear much until Europe."
Ricciardo sits fourth in the drivers' championship after the first race of the 2018 season.