Renault has enjoyed a strong run of form over the last five races by scoring a massive 78 points. Despite taking a huge step forward in terms of pace, the team is still having mixed feelings as results are coming only from Daniel Ricciardo. His teammate, Esteban Ocon, has struggled to keep up throughout this season and failed to score points more often.
Former Renault driver, Jolyon Palmer, opened up that Ricciardo, with such incredible performances, is making Ocon look like an average driver at the moment. He said, “As for Ricciardo, he has been brilliant in 2020 and is making Ocon look quite average right now on his return to a full-time drive.”
“Ocon is a young driver of good potential- and showed it alongside Sergio Perez at Force India in 2017 and 2018- but he simply isn’t stacking up well against Ricciardo, which is a mark of how consistently well the Australian is performing this season.”
Ocon has already struggled to maintain the same pace as his teammate in this season. With Fernando Alonso joining the team in 2021, Ocon will be under a considerable amount of pressure to step up his game. This is because a driver in F1 gets only a few chances before being cast away from the sport.
Even Renault will be surprised with the way Daniel Ricciardo is outperforming Ocon: Palmer
Palmer compared the Renault drivers’ performances over this season. He felt that Ocon was slower than the Australian on Sundays, despite being almost equal in terms of lap times in Qualifying sessions.
He said, “In 11 attempts, Ocon has out-qualified Ricciardo only once- in the wet session in round two in Austria. And although he was only a fraction behind Ricciardo in the qualifying at Nurburgring, Ocon carries close to 0.2 secs deficit on average over the season so far. But it’s actually the races where the difference is bigger.”
The former Renault driver continued, “It’s not to say Ocon’s been particularly poor. He has had moments of promise, and more reliability issues than Ricciardo, and he’s new to the team after a season on the sidelines.”
“But I’m sure even Renault will be surprised at how Ricciardo is outperforming their new signing. He’s in the best form he’s been in for a while, and this year he can actually finish in a higher championship position than he managed in his final two seasons at Red Bull.”
Ricciardo, with the podium at Nurburgring last weekend, has jumped ahead of quite a few drivers to take hold of P4 on the championship table. He is only behind the two Mercedes drivers and Max Verstappen.
His teammate, Ocon, has scored just 36 points, which is less than half of what Ricciardo has scored. Hence, the difference between the two clearly shows the dominance Ricciardo has carried over the Frenchman.