Daniel Ricciardo will go away Renault a a lot stronger staff than the one he joined, his boss Cyril Abiteboul stated on Friday forward of the Australian’s farewell at Formula One’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ricciardo is transferring to McLaren after two seasons on the French producer, with double world champion Fernando Alonso making a comeback in his place at a staff that shall be renamed Alpine.
Asked to sum up Ricciardo’s contribution since he joined in 2019, Abiteboul stated it had been appreciable.
“What he’s given first and foremost as a driver, he’s been remarkable, in particular this year,” the Frenchman stated in a video convention.
“I think there is no doubt about the progression of the team this year. It’s very much a credit to Daniel who’s been clearly leading the charge of the team and behind him a group of people and a group of mechanics and engineers who are doing a remarkable job.”
Renault are at present fifth, the identical spot they occupied final yr, and nonetheless in with a probability of third whereas their performances have been markedly higher.
Ricciardo, a race winner with Red Bull, has twice been on the rostrum — one thing the staff didn’t handle in 2019 — whereas staff mate Esteban Ocon completed second in the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain final weekend.
“Daniel is a great ambassador, a team leader. He has clearly been instrumental to the changes that we’ve done last year when we had altogether a disappointing season,” stated Abiteboul.
“He made an impact and we are so different today to what we were two years and a half ago when we decided to form this partnership. So, in that respect, frankly, it has delivered.
“The irony in all of this is that I believe we are a much stronger team now and he will have to race a much stronger team next year.”