Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has said he has “concerns” about Daniel Ricciardo’s imminent move to Renault.
After being linked with Ferrari and Mercedes at the beginning of the 2018 campaign, Ricciardo has now essentially made a step back in the hope that he can take two steps forward again in the coming years.
Not everyone, though, shares that hope.
“He’s absolutely world class, we know that, he’s top notch, he is one of the best on Sundays, there’s no question about it,” Webber told Fairfax Media.
“Let’s see. I hope it’s an inspired decision, we’ll all have to sit back and watch, but the move is under a little bit of heat, it has to work for him.
“He knows in the short term it’s going to be [a step back]. He’ll be behind Red Bull next year. He’s banking on the long term there. That’s the concern.”
While Webber can understand why Ricciardo felt like he had to make a move away for the 2019 season, but wishes his fellow compatriot was in a position to be challenging for race victories on a regular basis now.
“That’s what you’ve got to do sometimes, you’ve got to be one step back, two steps forward,” he added.
“He has to be realistic about what’s possible there and find out what he can realistically do with the time he’s got left.
“He’s got a lot of time left [as a 29-year-old] … but we all would like to see him in a more competitive situation than he’s going to be in in the next two years.”