The australian racer will be quitting The Renault Formula 1 Team after driving for two years after quitting Redbull F1 Team at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season. He will be signing with the Mclaren team for 2021 after Carlos Sainz joined Ferrari as they will be cutting ties with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo’s stint at the french outfit team has been dented by a series of backs and forths though he has achieved the fourth position in the recent Formula 1 events. The Australian is yet to stand on the podium wearing black and yellow.
The Renault boss continues saying that it hurts even more for Daniel Ricciardo to leave when he(Abiteboul) is very certain of Renaults future even if he can’t prove it. Although Daniel Ricciardo knew that he wasn’t getting championship-winning car when he signed with Renault but he was impressed with their vision for the future which has not yet materialised for the two seasons he has been there. Abiteboul also knows it takes more than empty promises to keep a strong driver like Ricciardo.
“I think everyone has been able to feel the frustration, and my own frustration, when it (Ricciardo’s exit) was announced,” Abiteboul said
“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 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 (Red Bull).”
“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.”
Renault will be replacing Ricciardo with Fernando Alonso who left the F1 sport at the end of 2018 and has already secured the contract with Renault up to the end of 2022.
“It’s really true that when you change driver, you make a step back before making a step forward,” Abiteboul said.
“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.”
Ricciardo currently sits at the 7th place in the drivers championship and the Renault team sits fifth in the constructors championship