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

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
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021