Abiteboul: Renault progress explains Ricciardo exit frustration

Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul says the squad's progress in Formula 1 this year explains just why he was so frustrated when Daniel Ricciardo first signed with McLaren.

Abiteboul: Renault progress explains Ricciardo exit frustration
Listen to this article

As part of the pre-season driver merry-go-round prompted by Ferrari not keeping Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo was snapped up by McLaren as the replacement for Carlos Sainz.

That move prompted Abiteboul to express some annoyance at Ricciardo's decision when it first happened.

In a statement confirming the news of Ricciardo's departure, Abiteboul said: "Reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team."

While Ricciardo and Renault have put the matter behind them to challenge for podiums this season, Abiteboul says that he felt the way he did simply because he knew things were going to move forward in 2020 - but had no way of proving it at the time.

"I think everyone has been able to feel the frustration, and my own frustration, when it was announced," said Abiteboul, in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.

"And let's be honest. I had the feeling that this [progress] was coming, that the team had made a step up, and that the car would be better.

"Plus that there was much more to come actually in the pipeline, that he [Ricciardo] had not driven yet. I knew the figures, but the problem is that it's only figures, and I know that he's been promised lots of things in the past not only by us, but also by his previous team.

"Daniel is very emotional but he has clearly made a step up. He has gained massively in confidence with the team and with the car, and the relationship between him and his race engineer is very, very strong. We see all of that, it's finally paying dividends."

Abiteboul said one of the key lessons to take out of this year with Ricciardo is how it can take time for drivers to fully reach their potential with teams.

It means that Renault needs to be looking towards more long-term commitment to its drivers, rather than making repeated changes.

"It's really true that when you change driver, you make a step back before making a step forward," said Abiteboul.

"We see that this year, and it's something that we'd like to do in the future: to clearly bring stability. Because year one is always a bit of an investment before the years ahead. So we need to have longer stints with our drivers if want to make steps forward."

Renault has signed Fernando Alonso as replacement for Ricciardo, in a multi-year deal that will take him at least until the end of 2022.

shares
comments

Related video

Williams struggles haven’t put Kubica off idea of racing again
Previous article

Williams struggles haven’t put Kubica off idea of racing again

Next article

Alonso makes Renault F1 factory return to Enstone

Alonso makes Renault F1 factory return to Enstone
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022