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Abiteboul: Renault called off holidays amid Ricciardo motivation

  • Published on 17 Feb 2019 09:53
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says that the Enstone based squad cancelled all holidays over the winter break in order to work on its 2019 car, the R.S 19.

Abiteboul stated that the team founded added motivation from the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian joins the team after spending five years at Red Bull Racing, where he secured seven Grand Prix victories.

Ricciardo took on the new challenge amid a difficult 2018 campaign, which saw him retire from a number of Grands Prix due to reliability issues. Renault ended the season in fourth place, 197 points behind the energy-drink backed outfit.

But as it continues to grow towards the front of the field, Renault is hoping that Ricciardo's first Renault car can be as competitive as possible.

"If you were standing in our position and looking at that opportunity of securing Daniel last summer and deciding not to do it what does that mean?" Abiteboul asked. "It means that you don’t believe in yourself.

"How do you want me to be standing in front of the factory and trying to motivate everyone and explaining to everyone that we are in line with the plan, but if you have one of the best drivers out there that’s available and you don’t go for him, what would that mean?

"By default we could not let that opportunity pass without seizing it. And now it’s just accepting the responsibility that this means for, for me for myself, for Renault and for the whole team.

"But at the same time it’s a huge opportunity to motivate everyone. We made the decision in the winter we just discussed about how much we push production. No one is complaining about that because everyone wants to give the best possible car to Daniel.

"In winter in Viry we’ve got the team open on Saturdays, we cancelled holidays. We usually have a factory shut down on week 52 before Christmas because that’s the best way to optimise resources. We cancelled that. No one criticised that decision on the basis of the driver that we have.

"So also on the management perspective it’s creating some pressure but it’s also an opportunity. It’s making my life easier to impose to everyone the sort of condition that we will have."

Ricciardo made his first outing as a Renault driver at a shakedown on Saturday in Barcelona. Renault has not yet formally announced its schedule for pre-season testing next week.

Replies (5)

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  • denis1304

    Posts: 284

    this must be hard to hear for Nico Hülkenberg

    • + 3
    • Feb 17 2019 - 11:17
    • I agree, it must be hard for Nico. I personally would like to see both do well this year.

      • + 0
      • Feb 18 2019 - 19:09
  • Yeah, way to throw Hulk under the bus. I really like Ricciardo, but the way Renault have handled this situation is making me keen on seeing the Hulk smash Ricciardo into microscopic wallabies. Regardless, Im sure Renault's recent conundrum with Ghosn and Honda's alleged massive leap had nothing to do with the called off holidays...

    • + 0
    • Feb 17 2019 - 13:15
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      True. It's nothing to do with Ricciardo and more todo with the improvements that everyone else is making. Why is it that Renault is getting so vocal about there improvements it will only make them look bad if they don't.

      • + 0
      • Feb 17 2019 - 14:38
  • dr002

    Posts: 141

    "The lady doth protest too much, methinks".... Sounds to me as though Abiteboul is attempting to establish his alibi for the future, so that he has something to point to when sufficient gains are not realised....... No doubt in the future we'll be hearing "..... I did everything I could, we signed a top driver and we were so serious we even cancelled week 52 holidays".

    He's really piling pressure and expectations onto Riccardo's shoulders by what he is saying, and the look on Riccardo's face already seems to be one of questioning contemplation........

    I wonder whether Ricciardo could have got a seat alongside Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo. I reckon that would have been the best move for him outside of a Mercedes or Ferrari drive, as I'm betting Alfa Romeo will come in third this year in front of Honda and Renault. I also reckon it could have provided Ricciardo with a great opportunity for a mid-season transition across into a Ferrari seat when Vettel's on track arrogance and sense of entitlement once again kicks in and gets the better of him when he again starts spinning in a car with even less downforce than last year.

    • + 0
    • Feb 17 2019 - 19:50

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