Renault boss, Cyril Abiteboul, can envisage “more positive things” by signing Esteban Ocon, compared to the media perception that followed the signature of Daniel Ricciardo.
Renault’s ‘best of the rest’ finish in 2018, coupled with the signing of Ricciardo from Red Bull, created, in Abiteboul’s view, a raised level of expectation that was “way above” what Renault themselves promised.
But, Abiteboul is not expecting another perception of a “negative dynamic” to occur by bringing in Ocon from Mercedes ahead of the 2020 season.
“I can see more positive things spinning out of Esteban,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
“It’s not that Daniel was negative, because I praise what Daniel has pushed the team to do.
“But he put pressure on the team with the expectations he created in the media sphere by joining the team. It’s what we wanted, but de facto he create a huge amount of expectation, way above what we promised.
“And by doing that it has led to a reaction from the team when we saw we were not at the required level.
“He’s [Ocon] still in the construction phase. First, he’s coming back to racing, which is good news.
“Hopefully he will have a better car than the one he had last time he drove, so it’s a positive dynamic for us when a lot of people attribute our bad 2019 season to the decision with Daniel, and his season with us, as more of a negative dynamic.”
On the subject of dynamics, Abiteboul feels Ocon will “push the team in a different way”.
“It’s another dynamic,” Abiteboul added.
“He will push us in a different way, a new energy, a new aggressivity, in my opinion a fully positive one, coming also with a different set of experiences, having worked with Mercedes.”
“So it’s good, but at the end of the day we can do lots of things with drivers, but what needs to be better is obviously the racing car.”