Earlier this season, Daniel Ricciardo revealed that he would be racing for the Mclaren F1 team in 2021. For a while, it looked like he had made the right decision, considering McLaren were within earshot of P3, dominating the mid-field battle until half-way through this season.
However, the tables turned against Ricciardo’s favor, drastically. Ricciardo’s intention was to drive a car that holds better chances of securing podiums. Unfortunately, going into next season, Renault are in a better position than McLaren.
Hence, it looks like Ricciardo will once again be racing against a stronger rival team in 2021. Renault’s team principal, Cyril Abiteboul, saw the irony in it and revealed that he is looking forward to an exciting battle against the Australian.
During the press conference in Abu Dhabi, Abiteboul expressed his view on Ricciardo’s upcoming move to the Zak Brown-led team.
“The irony in all of this is that I believe we are a much stronger team now,” he said. “And he will have to race a much stronger team next year, and obviously all of that we will be missing.
“But you know, we’re also glad to see him in a great team and we look forward to an exciting battle against McLaren and Daniel next year.
Ricciardo managed to bring Renault out of a rough patch and helped them get back in the race for the best-of-the-rest title. Over this season, the Australian already secured two podiums in that Renault, with his teammate increasing the tally to three following Sakhir GP.
The Frenchman credited Ricciardo for Renault’s incredible improvement in pace. Apparently, Ricciardo has been leading the charge in the team.
“It’s very much a credit to Daniel who’s been clearly leading the charge of the team,” he said. “And behind him a group of people and a group of mechanics and engineers who are doing a remarkable job on track.
“Off-track, obviously we know Daniel is a great ambassador, is a team leader.”
Ricciardo will not really be concerned with the fact that Renault are growing stronger than his future team, McLaren. Considering his talent and his ability to get the most performance out of a car, it wouldn’t be a shock if Ricciardo finishes ahead of both the Renault drivers next season.
So, even though Renault aren’t looking concerned about Ricciardo leaving the team, will they miss him and his experience over the 2021 season?