Ricciardo raised many eyebrows when he parted ways with Red Bull last season. Despite being linked with title favourites Mercedes and Ferrari, he opted for a move to the French outfit instead.
It’s not, however, the first time the F1 world has been shocked over driver switches, with Hamilton causing a similar surprise when he opted to join Mercedes from McLaren in 2013.
But that risk ultimately paid off, with the British driver claiming four of the six world titles he’s tussled for since making that switch.
And Ricciardo, who won two races with Red Bull last season but saw his season hindered by reliability problems, is quietly confident that he may be able to repeat Hamilton’s exploits in the near future.
“I can certainly take something from Lewis’ success with Mercedes,” said Ricciardo.
“It might not feel like it now, but his good run wasn’t immediate, and his first season there in 2013 wasn’t straightforward.
“That tested him, and even up until 2014 his career wasn’t smooth-sailing, so I can draw from his persistence alone.
“Look at him now. It has given him more years in the sport because without his success he probably would have walked away a few seasons ago.
“So, that is certainly motivating and proof in the pudding that it can be done. We have the resources, so there is no reason why we can’t do it.”
Renault will be looking to close the gap to Formula 1’s top three teams this campaign, and keep the smile on new recruit Ricciardo’s face, after seeing a big step up in engine performance over the winter.