Daniel Ricciardo has said “everything is cool” with Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul following the Aussie’s decision to leave for McLaren.
McLaren confirmed Ricciardo as Lando Norris’ new team-mate for 2021 after it became clear that Carlos Sainz had been chosen by Ferrari to replace the departing Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo’s imminent departure was acknowledged in a rather short and spiky official statement made by Abiteboul which did not even reference the ex-Red Bull driver by name.
Instead, Abiteboul appeared to question Ricciardo’s loyalty.
“In our sport, and particularly within the current extraordinary situation, reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team,” Abiteboul said.
“I am confident that the 2020 season will allow us to accomplish even more together. Our ambitions and the strategy of Renault DP World F1 Team remain unchanged.”
But, when quizzed about that statement, Ricciardo has said he was not offended by it and “the dust has now settled” between him and the Renault boss.
“I didn’t take it personally,” Ricciardo told Channel 4.
“I was aware of some articles but I have spoken to him [Cyril Abiteboul] since that and the dust has settled and everything is cool.
“But also I think that is the competitive spirit you see not just in the drivers but the teams as well. When they believe in something and you want something, you are going to collide somewhere.
“From my side, there is still a ton of people in this Renault organisation who are happy to have me here and are still excited to see me drive.
“I will be racing for myself because I still want to compete in the race but I still want to give back to them everything I signed up for.
“I guess I’ve been here before with Red Bull. The shock from the news [of me leaving] takes a bit of a hit but as time passes everybody just gets back to work. That’s what we’ll do.”
I am so grateful for my time with @renaultf1team and the way I was accepted into the team. But we aren’t done and I can’t wait to get back on the grid this year. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong. Merci pic.twitter.com/YFfzbwrgD7
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) May 14, 2020
When asked if he felt Ferrari made a mistake hiring Carlos Sainz instead of him, he said: “Time will tell, but it is not really my business.
“I get where you are coming from. I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t because everyone for years has been like ‘yeah! Ricciardo is Italian bla bla bla red car’ so I get it from that side but I don’t want to take anything away from Carlos.
“He had a tremendous 2019 and he really established himself so I think he put himself in the driving seat.”