Daniel Ricciardo drew heavy criticism when he jumped ship to Renault from Red Bull in 2019. Although the first season was nothing to write about, the Australian has come leaps and bounds to help Renault stay in the fight for P3.
The drivers’ market in the summer saw some unexpected turns, with Ferrari electing to pick Carlos Sainz for the next year. This opened up a seat at McLaren, which Ricciardo embraced with open arms when he received the call.
As the 2020 season draws closer, there is a growing realization now at Renault that the ever cheerful Daniel Ricciardo will leave the team in a few races’ time. The French team’s executive director Marcin Budkowski has spoken about what he will miss the most about the driver.
Ricciardo’s “character” will be missed, says Budkowski
Speaking in an interview, Budkowski stated, “He’s at the top of his form.
“He’s driving exceptionally well and that shows in the team results. But also in his personal results, so of course we will miss him.”
It is definitely a shame that the races have started ending well for Renault, just as Ricciardo’s time with them is ending. Regardless, he leaves the side having delivered two podium finishes and many more memories to cherish.
“But we will also miss the character. He’s a smiley, engaging character [and it’s] a pleasure to work with him. Daniel walks in the room and suddenly the mood in the room picks up because his smile and his enthusiasm is infectious.” concluded Budkowski on the subject.
Renault, who will be called Alpine F1 from next year onwards, have made significant strides this season. Albeit they have had their share of mechanical failures, the project’s full potential became visible at times, courtesy of Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo has played an immense role in Renault’s midfield challenge
It seemed like even this year, Renault would settle for P5, considering Racing Point had a far better winter testing. However, having built some good form, they sit just 18 points behind them in the race for P3.
Ricciardo has had a successful season, with 96 of Renault’s 136 points coming from his contributions. Hence, it is easy to see why they are disappointed at losing him.
They can only hope that incoming veteran Fernando Alonso does an equally good job for them. But the Spanish driver will have definitely have his task cut out in meeting the team’s expectations.