Daniel Ricciardo said it is important to keep the memory of his nightmare Renault debut to see the progress they made.
It was a surprise when Ricciardo departed Red Bull to join Renault for the start of the 2019 season, and that decision looked even more surprising when at his home race and first round of the 2019 season, the Australian Grand Prix, Ricciardo qualified P12 before suffering a DNF in the race.
But it was important for Ricciardo to keep that memory in order to truly appreciate the good times to come, and that’s exactly what happened with Ricciardo ending 2020 with two podium finishes, while Renault almost doubled their tally in the Constructors’ Championship from 2019 despite finishing P5.
“I will keep the memory of my first race last year,” said Ricciardo, as quoted by F1i.com.
“The whole week and I felt… I just left a little frustrated with the race itself, but it was a bit of a hit of like ‘we still have a lot of work to do’.
“In short, you remember the hard times and then appreciate the good times.
“I will certainly remember that, and now look back on it and actually see how much we have changed and how much we’ve improved, and how much more confidence we all have in the team.
“That feels like an eternity ago, but it is important to remember that because it is really just proof of what we have done.”
Ricciardo struck a deal with Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul – if he scored a podium finish, then Abiteboul would have to get a tattoo.
And with P3 for Ricciardo at the Eifel Grand Prix Abiteboul drew the short stick on that bet, and the memory of that race weekend was what Ricciardo selected as the “standout” of his time at Renault.
“Obviously Nürburgring is the standout, the first podium, and hearing a few F-bombs from Cyril, that was nice,” he said.
“Everyone was just elated with that, it was awesome.”
Ricciardo departed Renault at the end of 2020, marking the end of his two-year spell with the team. He now makes the move to McLaren for 2021 who finished the 2020 campaign P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
The Renault name meanwhile is set to bow out of Formula 1 as the team rebrands to Alpine for 2021, the high-performance division of Renault.