Renault Send a Heartfelt Message to Daniel Ricciardo ahead of McLaren F1 Switch

Published 01/04/2021, 5:37 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – October 11, 2020 Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo celebrates with teammates after finishing the race in third place Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


One F1 driver who is universally loved by all is Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian driver is as cheerful as his brilliant overtaking moves. Whenever he mingles with people, he leaves an imprint behind.

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This is the case with his now ex-employers, Renault, as well. Even though he is leaving for a rival team, McLaren, they proved that there are no hard feelings between the two. They sent a graceful tweet on social media to wish him good luck on his journey ahead.

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The ‘Papayas’ is a moniker for the McLaren F1 Team, whose staple color is orange, like the fruit. Renault and McLaren had a closely contested mid-field battle this season, where the Woking outfit ultimately emerged victorious.

Did Daniel Ricciardo make a mistake in leaving Renault?

Daniel put pen to paper on a multi-year deal with McLaren even before this season started. Their improvements over the 2019 season inspired him, the fact that Renault regressed to move backward with their car development in 2019 did not help their case.

Hence, he seized the opportunity as soon as Carlos Sainz left for Ferrari. He did not want to hang around till the end of the season and risk losing the race seat at McLaren.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 11: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 and Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul share a joke at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

However, Renault came up with noticeable improvements themselves this season. They made huge strides this year that culminated with a podium finish at the Eifel Grand Prix, their first one since 2011. This soon became two, and then three, with Esteban Ocon at the Sakhir GP.

Although they are replacing him with two-time World Champion, Fernando Alonso, they feel sad to see him leave. Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul accepts that the blame firmly lies with him.

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“It blew me away to hear him announce his departure because this winter, I felt the car had potential.

“The pandemic stopped everything, but I blame myself for not having been able to show Daniel what was the true potential of our project.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Third-placed Daniel Ricciardo of Renault drinks out of a shoe Pool via Reuters/Miguel Medina

Overall, he made the right call in choosing to get behind the wheel of McLaren in 2021 and teaming up with Lando Norris.

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They are showing a more consistent improvement than Renault. Not to forget that they will have the class-leading Mercedes engines powering their cars. Thus, he did not take a wrong step with this decision.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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