Renault seem to question Ricciardo’s loyalty

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Cyril Abiteboul appears to have questioned Daniel Ricciardo’s “confidence and commitment” to the Renault programme with the Aussie off to McLaren next season.

After five seasons with Red Bull, Ricciardo signed a two-year deal with Renault for 2019 and 2020.

However, after just one campaign with the Enstone team, he’s already decided enough is enough.

The 30-year-old was linked to Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari race seat but, with that expected to go to Carlos Sainz, he has instead jumped ship to McLaren.

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul doesn’t appear at all impressed with Ricciardo’s decision.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Renault and the Aussie will stay together for the 2020 season, which Abiteboul hopes will be an improvement on last year’s campaign.

“I am confident that the 2020 season will allow us to accomplish even more together,” he added.

“Our ambitions and the strategy of Renault DP World F1 Team remain unchanged.”

Renault, meanwhile, simply said that ‘discussions held with Daniel Ricciardo concerning a renewal of his contract beyond the end of 2020 have not been successful.’

As for Ricciardo, he is hoping for a strong finish to his rather brief Renault stint.

“I am so grateful for my time with the Renault team and the way I was accepted into the team,” he wrote on Twitter.

“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.”

Last year McLaren, powered by Renault engines, beat the works team to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship while also being the only of the two teams to visit the podium.

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