Barely a week after the summer break began, Formula One once against found itself in the spotlight. Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo announced that he was leaving the team at the end of the season. Not a moment too soon, Renault swooped in and bagged the Australian.
Now, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul admitted that the team ‘had to jump at the chance to sign Daniel Ricciardo’. Earlier, he said that Force India’s Esteban Ocon was “on the short list” however, it “did not work out”.
The French manufacturer also considered extending current driver Carlos Sainz’s contract. However, they felt that Ricciardo “was the only option, besides being the best, for us to have a 100% Renault driver”.
Abiteboul knew that to acquire the services of Ocon, he would have to be loaned to them by Mercedes. In addition to that, with Ricciardo on the market, the opportunity was “too great a chance to miss”.
He said, “We could not afford to not sign him. Only once every two or three years does this occasion arise. The next time the train of top drivers comes past, it may be after 2021,” Abiteboul added.
It would’ve helped in the case of Ocon as he is a former reserve driver for Renault. But coming to the subject of Renault, the team will be fighting hard for the title of ‘Best of the Rest’. However, they have stiff competition from Haas, McLaren and Force India. 4th in the constructors championship is the best that anyone can manage behind the Big 3 teams.
Although they have been boosted by the news of Ricciardo’s arrival in 2019, the current season isn’t over yet. Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr will use this break to recharge their batteries and come back stronger. What will the Belgian GP hold for the F1 fans?