Mol was very scathing in his criticism of the Australian and gave him a 5.5 out of 10. Incidentally, it was the same figure that he gave Ricciardo in an interim report at the start of the summer break.
“He has not improved,” state Mol firmly, when referring to Renault’s new recruit. In 2018, Ricciardo finished sixth in the championship with two victories to his credit. Fast-foward a year later, the 30-year old slipped down to ninth with 54 points and a best finish of fourth place.
The F1 pundit believes that Ricciardo has not shown that he is capable of being the de facto team leader of Renault. He continued, “Wanting to be the clown of the paddock is not good enough.”
“Ricciardo is incredibly nice and pr-super, but on the job? In Brazil he came from the back to the front, otherwise I have not seen enough ‘real Ricciardo moments’. And I have not seen him make Renault better.”
Instead, the Dutchman suggested that Daniel Ricciardo adopt a far more serious stance. However, Mol did have a few positive things to say about the ‘Honey Badger’. According to Mol, Ricciardo’s 5.5 rating is still marginally reasonable with a 5.5 is because of his fun-loving nature.
In 2020 though, he will have to be wary of his new teammate Esteban Ocon, who won’t go easy on him. While he may have had the measure of Nico Hulkenberg in 2019, the young Frenchman will be a whole new ball game.
It also remains to be seen if the Renault can take the fight to the top 3 teams. What didn’t help Renault’s cause were reliability woes and McLaren’s surge in form.