Renault Boss Abiteboul Accepts Responsibility For Losing Daniel Ricciardo To McLaren

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It was a long time coming for both Daniel Ricciardo and Renault, but it was a moment to savor when it did. The Australian secured a P3 in the Eifel Grand Prix, to end Renault’s wait for a podium finish.

The French manufacturer works team have shown signs of progress in recent times. And they will certainly look to improve ahead of 2021 where they are optimistic of consistent higher points finishes.

But, one element they will be missing from 2021, is their star driver Daniel Ricciardo. He will move to rival midfield team McLaren, whose own driver Carlos Sainz moves to Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo endured a difficult 2019 season with Renault

2019 as a season, was full of multiple frustrating moments for Daniel Ricciardo at Renault. And part of the reasons for moving to McLaren, is the fact that Mercedes engines will power them from next year.

And Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has shouldered blame, for not being able to show Ricciardo what their car was fully capable of. Especially at a time, where things seem to be slowly coming together for Renault.

Daniel Ricciardo celebrates on the Eifel GP podium
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo celebrates with sparkling wine on the podium after finishing in third place alongside race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Abiteboul speaking to L’Equipe, was quoted by PlanetF1 as saying, “It blew me away to hear him announce his departure because this winter. I felt the car had potential.”

“The pandemic stopped everything. But I blame myself for not having been able to show Daniel what was the true potential of our project.”

Ricciardo will be part of a fiercely competitive midfield battle in 2021

Despite the Australian racer’s move to McLaren, he will be embroiled in a tough fight for midfield places. With Racing Point already in a position of strength, Renault’s rebranded Alpine F1 team could give the others a run for their money.

Daniel Ricciardo during the Eifel GP
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany -Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Throw in the fact that AlphaTauri are emerging as real competitors from the backfield. And it makes for an exciting 2021 season.

But, while the future will eventually arrive, Ricciardo will have one eye on the present. He will take this momentum going forward into the Portuguese Grand Prix on October 25 at Portimao.

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