Ocon: Daniel Ricciardo Not the ‘Strongest Benchmark’ in F1

January 20, 2021 7:15 pm

Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon helped Renault record their first podiums this season. The pair helped the French team put up an impressive performance last season. The Australian outperformed his French teammate in 2020. However, In a recent interview, the French driver stated that Ricciardo isn’t the strongest benchmark according to him.

Esteban Ocon managed to out-qualify the Australian only twice and ended the season with a 47 points deficit. However, he had a fairly decent season and claimed his first career podium in the Sakhir Grand Prix.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 28: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 28, 2019 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Even after being outperformed by Ricciardo, the French driver stated, “I don’t know if he’s the strongest benchmark, but he’s certainly one of the top [ones]. I’ve been very impressed with what he’s been doing, outperforming the car in a lot of moments.

“It was definitely a great thing to have him as my team-mate, to see where I could get better and what I could do against him. It’s been good for my learning curve,” said the Renault driver.

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Ocon on Daniel Ricciardo adapting quickly

Daniel Ricciardo helped Renault claim their first podium finish last season since their return in 2016. Esteban Ocon is aware that the Renault car takes a little longer to get used to and was impressed by Ricciardo’s quick adaptations to the car.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 10, 2020 Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“He’s very fast and he adapts to the conditions very well, so he learns very quickly. When there’s one corner where I’m doing better than him, he will rectify it once we get to qualifying. He’s always very positive on everything,” explained Ocon.

Daniel Ricciardo is moving to McLaren next season and will drive alongside Lando Norris. The team recorded their best result since 2012, finishing P3 in the standing. Hopefully, the Mercedes power unit McLaren will allow Ricciardo to stand atop the podium, more often and more consistently.

How long do you believe the Australian will take to adapt to his new car and deliver positive results?

Ayush Manjunath

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 contributor at EssentiallySports, based in Bengaluru. He is an intense lover of Formula 1, Ayrton Senna, Max Verstappen, and George Russell, and has previously worked as an athlete agent. He is a law graduate and is currently enrolled in a Sports Management Program at GISB, Mumbai. 2019 was quite an eventful year for Ayush, as he completed a program in Sports, Media and Entertainment Management at UCLA, won a national moot court competition, and judgement national writing competition.

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