Cyril Abiteboul feels that Daniel Ricciardo and Renault can still achieve far more together, amid talk of the Aussie leaving.
The 2019 season was a hugely disappointing one for both parties. After convincing Ricciardo to sign with the promise of one day being able to fight for the podiums, the French team ended the year a long way behind McLaren in P5. Ricciardo meanwhile, only finished in the top five once with a P4 finish at Monza.
With his contract expiring at the end of the year, there’s much speculation regarding his next move. Many are sure he won’t choose to stay, with Ferrari and McLaren seen as possible alternatives for him.
Team boss Abiteboul admits he isn’t sure what will happen given the unique situation the sport is in, but he’s keen to have a plan going forward nonetheless.
“In a normal season, it is clearly around May and June you start having discussions,” Abiteboul told Formula1.com.
“It’s an unusual season to a certain degree. It’s postponed a number of things, but having said that we have to keep planning for the future, so that is part of the things which are taking place with Daniel and others. We’re not desperate to have a resolution about that but for sure we’re planning.”
Despite the uncertainty, the team principal confirmed that the team wish to keep Ricciardo on, and believes that he feels the same way.
“We do feel it is a journey that has much more to offer than what it offered last year. We all know last year was a bit of mixed feelings, mixed results, to many degrees,” he added.
“We feel we can do better, which is why certainly there is a shared feeling we should do more. Whether that leads to an extension of the contract, time will tell.
“There is certainly a shared appetite if my understanding is correct.”
Abiteboul has recently admitted the team are looking at alternatives just in case they can’t keep hold of the former Red Bull man.