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Renault admit it was "surprised" by Ricciardo's haste

  • Published on 26 Sep 2018 16:37
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Renault has admitted that it was surprised by how quickly it convinced Daniel Ricciardo to join the team. Ricciardo announced during the summer break that he would be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season, ending a 10-year partnership with the energy drink squad.

The Australian soon confirmed that he would be joining Renault on a two-year deal. Alain Prost, who acts as an advisor for the team and appeared in Formula 1's latest 'Beyond the Grid' podcast, stated that the team was taken aback by Ricciardo's sudden desire to join the resurging outfit.

"When we talked to Daniel, it was a very frank discussion," he said. "He knows everything, he has seen everything – and he knows he can not be a world champion next year. We are going to be better for sure, but it’s going to take time.

“We were a bit surprised when he said ‘yes I want to come’. He’s going to allow us to push the team to become even better and better all the time. It’s a little bit more pressure on the team because of him. But at the end, it’s positive pressure."

Ricciardo has proved himself to be one of the top drivers in the series after he joined Red Bull in 2014. Since gaining promotion from Toro Rosso, the 29-year-old has bagged 29 podiums, including seven victories.

He has also pulled off a series of unexpected, last-second overtakes on his fellow drivers, all the while expressing his upbeat personality off the track. Prost says that his marketing value will be beneficial to Renault, as well as his speed.

"What Daniel can bring is - obviously the first thing is himself," he said. "He’s a driver that has won races, and he has been so competitive in the last few years. He’s a very nice personality which is very important for the team – and he’s also coming from a winning team.

“As an old driver, you can see that when you’re in a top team and an average team, there are a lot of small differences that can obviously make the difference in competitivity," the four-time champion continued. "A driver like him can help. We need to put everything we can all together to become a top team and he is part of that.

“The marketing side, he’s good value. He’s a funny guy. If you talk about Daniel inside Formula 1, outside Formula 1, you never have controversy. For me, he is one of the best drivers to overtake people. He’s very competitive. He has had more points than his team mates very often, like Max (Verstappen) who is considered one of the best. He’s a top guy.

“In a team like Renault, it’s a big team with a big factory, the Renault family has a long history in Formula 1 - but it’s also a big company. You need to have a good ambience. It’s very difficult to support the pressure of this. You need to have two good drivers working well together, without any problems – and I’m sure with Daniel and Nico it’s going to be a good team,” Prost concluded.

Replies (6)

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  • Even with with big money involved, getting Ricciardo to Renault at this stage was a steal. I'll go off on a limb and predict at least one podium next year for Renault.

    • + 0
    • Sep 26 2018 - 17:07
  • There are almost nothing but benefits for the team that grabs Ricciardo AFAIC.

    • + 0
    • Sep 26 2018 - 19:40
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Agreed CALLE. He's a solid driver that is not afraid to overtake. I wonder that if Verstappen wasn't with Redbull would he have stayed with them? I think so and in that lies the only footnote about Ricciardo. He wasn't able to establish himself as the clear no 1 driver when Max came in. Did he leave Redbull because of the threat of being an designated no 2? I just don't believe the spiel about Honda being an unknown.

      It will be interesting to see how next year pans out; considering how much Sainz struggled against Hulkenberg.

      • + 0
      • Sep 27 2018 - 12:25
    • Im inclined to agree with you on Ric staying if Max werent there. I dont think there was a major beef between the two, but probably enough grinding that it didnt quite work out. The Honda deal was probably the last straw for him, not necessarily a deal breaker alone, but one of many contributing factors. Whether he was correctly assessing the situation or not remains for next year to be seen.

      Im loving the build up for 2019! All the changes are bound to spice things up!

      • + 0
      • Sep 27 2018 - 18:29
  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    Much like Alonso he can make a less than ideal car work.Where most need a car t suit their style he can adapt to what the car gives him

    • + 0
    • Sep 27 2018 - 14:42
  • paveu

    Posts: 6

    And where is that second good driver? :P

    • + 0
    • Sep 27 2018 - 19:27

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  • Country Netherlands
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