Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes that Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to join Renault a “backwards move”. The Australian made waves in the motorsport community on Friday. This was because he announced that he would be leaving Red Bull Racing after five years.
Soon after the announcement, his move to Renault was confirmed. However, Palmer believes that there’s no denying that Renault is behind Red Bull. This is inspite of making improvements towards the front of the grid since its return in 2016.
“To be honest, it’s a backwards move for Ricciardo,” Palmer said. “They’re a team that’s on the up but they are currently behind, there’s no two ways about it.”
However, the 27-year-old understands where Ricciardo is coming from. He knows that Ricciardo doesn’t want to slip into a second fiddle role to current teammate Verstappen: “At Red Bull, I felt – and he probably felt – that he was just starting to slide into Verstappen’s shadow. And that’s a dangerous place to be.”
Palmer said that Ricciardo has come to a team that will be eager to have him on board. The French manufacturer will be pinning a lot of hopes on him to propel them forward. The Briton reckons that it has to do with the dynamic within the team. It is better for him at Renault inspite of being a little technically behind.
However, Ricciardo has said that he is up to the challenge that the car could offer. The 2019 season will provide a lot of unknowns with regard to the pace of the Renault. Especially when compared to the big 3 teams. Ricciardo and future teammate Nico Hulkenberg are already looking forward to working alongside each other.
Palmer has entered 37 Grands Prix for the Enstone team. However, he was ousted midseason in favour of Carlos Sainz Jr for the rest of the season.