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Ricciardo: Renault move less risky than Red Bull stay

  • Published on 20 Feb 2019 10:58
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo says that joining the Renault F1 team for the 2019 season was less risky than staying at Red Bull.

Ricciardo signed a two-year deal with the Enstone squad last year, announcing his shock decision to leave the energy drink outfir after five years. Prior to the announcement, Ricciardo was on the verge of signing an extension with the team, following in the footsteps of former teammate Max Verstappen.

However, he opted against a contract renewal and instead joined the resurging Renault outfit. This year, Red Bull will run with Honda engines which have not yet been as efficient as the units from championship competing Mercedes and Ferrari.

“Part of the risk was Honda and whether they perform or not," Ricciardo said. "I’m coming here to Renault and yes, I want to win, but the expectation is that we won’t this year. We want to improve and, if we do, awesome.

"At Red Bull, it was like 'Okay, this year is going to be our year' and there’s nothing wrong with that. The risk of being let down and disappointed is much higher. I went there after they’d won four world titles so I was like “Oh I’m gonna have a world championship car.” For five years, that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t all bad, don’t get me wrong."

"If the move with Honda doesn’t work, then it was just more risky for my happiness within the team and everyone’s motivation. So there’s less risk by coming to Renault and there’s more room for us to grow. Every year, Renault have grown and improved.”

In his time with Red Bull, Ricciardo bagged a handful of Grand Prix victories and an abundance of podiums. Although he wasn't given a championship competing car over the course of his time at the team, he doesn't view his time there as negative.

“I don’t look back on it negatively at all, they gave me all my current milestones in F1. I’ll look back and obviously go “Oh, I wish you’d signed me for 2013!” That would have been awesome or, you know, Mark Webber retiring a year earlier. But I don’t look back bitterly.

"They provided me with amazing opportunities and that’s just how the sport is. It’s how it works. That was the best option I had, and it wasn’t all negative. The five years of coming close but not close enough; I felt if I did another year or two with the same outcome, I felt that was the risk I had to take with and go “It’s time to make a change.”

"That’s the personal thing, I could have gotten demotivated or frustrated.”

Replies (6)

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  • wow! he doesn't stop about it. I wish someone tells him to move on completely and stop thinking about his old team.

    • + 0
    • Feb 20 2019 - 15:51
    • He probably won't stop talking about it, because media keeps asking him about it. Mark my words, these questions will continue no matter how good or bad Renault perform this year.

      • + 0
      • Feb 20 2019 - 19:20
    • My thoughts too. Also, what else is there to talk about so far? They are obviously keeping their cards close to their chest before the season kicks off, so of course he's not going to say much about Renault, yet. I think makes sense what he said to some degree. He knows the expectations are low at Renault so it's easier to exceed expectations than at Red Bull where the expectations are always high and even though he has exceeded expectations there to so some extent it will be harder this year with the unknown factors of going with a new engine supplier. Not to mention he has the opportunity to be the big dawg at Renault. I suspect the Hulk is going to put up a good fight though.

      • + 0
      • Feb 20 2019 - 21:39
    • Can’t but agree. RIC might not be beating the dead horse. Reporters are definitely milking the dead cow.

      • + 0
      • Feb 21 2019 - 06:45
  • It's the media - they won't let this lie and will probably keep talking about it if Renault fight tough with RBR, whichever way this will rumble on. I think Ric could do Renault a favour though and simply dismiss any further talk about this, Renault want to see him in the zone and no distractions. I personally think his driving skills are neat and he makes few errors - his feedback to his engineers will be critical, he has always been good at that and Renault simply must find the extra horses to compete now, if not in 2019 (and I don't see why not) then a must in 2020. I will swap my allegiance to Renault if they deliver on their potential, I am sick of the top two team bossing everything, it's high time a challenger came good. Come On Renault !

    • + 0
    • Feb 20 2019 - 23:18
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      He has been a little more critical about his old team as late but that's understandable. It looks like Honda and Renault have improved over last years PU with Gasly stating that Max feels more power across the range and smoother engine curve when downshifting. I have not heard anything that positive from the Renault camps but I am sure that they will improved.

      Next weeks testing will gave more information on how the teams stand, this weeks testing is not showing anything clear apart from that Ferrari seems to look good.

      Renault is promising every year to close that gap to the top and every year they did not manage.

      Altough

      • + 0
      • Feb 21 2019 - 08:15

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