Daniel Ricciardo is in a “strange place” as he stands on the podium with Renault having already announced he’s off to McLaren next season.
That’s the opinion of former driver turned commentator Paul di Resta.
Deciding in 2018 that it would be his final season with Red Bull, Ricciardo spoke with both Renault and McLaren before deciding to join the Enstone team.
But with Renault looking as if they had stagnated in 2019 while McLaren was one of the most improved team, he decided even before the start of the 2020 campaign that he would be swapping Renault for McLaren at the end of the year.
In a change of fortune, this season it is Renault who have shown remarkable improvement.
With two podiums in the last three races, P3 at the Eifel Grand Prix and again at the Emilia Romagna race, Di Resta reckons Ricciardo is in a “strange place”.
“He’s been great – very relaxed, and he goes out there and delivers,” FoxSports quotes the Scot as having told Sky F1.
“I feel he’s in a strange place because when you’re in Parc Ferme and he’s got those podiums, it’s the start of something that I think was going to go quite far from a leadership point of view for Daniel.
“But of course he’s leaving there and going to McLaren because he thought that was the best chance before the season had started. But Renault are on the up.
“It was an ambitious ask to think they can finish third as a constructor this year, but they’re in a great place to try and achieve it.”
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Fellow Sky commentator Johnny Herbert says it is a “shame” that Ricciardo won’t be with Renault next season guiding them but as he feels they will be one of the stronger teams in the coming years.
He is, however, hopeful that McLaren will also be up there.
“It is a shame in many respects,” he said. “They’re on the up, he would have been the perfect man, and his maturity is fantastic.
“Yeah, we have that laughing and joking with him, but it’s ability to get the best out of the team and the best out of the car.
“It’s a shame that we’re maybe not going to see the same thing next year. I hope McLaren are going to give him the car that he needs, but Renault do look very strong for the future.”