Renault: We had to sign Daniel Ricciardo

08-08-2018 08:45
by Jake Williams-Smith
General
Renault: We had to sign Daniel Ricciardo

Renault has admitted that they had to jump at the chance to sign Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull Racing. The Australian shocked the F1 world by announcing he would be leaving the team at the end of the 2018 season and be making the jump to the French team instead.

Speaking with French site RMC Sport, Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul said that the chance to sign Ricciardo was one that was "too great a chance to miss."

"We could not afford to not sign him. Only once every two or three years does this occasion arise. The next time the train of top drivers comes past, it may be after 2021."

It had looked as though Mercedes were set to come to an agreement with Renault over the services of Esteban Ocon for the 2019 season, the Frenchman making the jump from Force India until the highly-rated Red Bull driver became the top priority for the team.

Abiteboul did admit that Ocon had been on the team's radar however.

"(He) had been on the short list but it did not work out, (Daniel) was the only option, besides being the best, for us to have a 100 percent Renault driver."

Ricciardo signed with Renault on a two-year deal that would take him up to the end of the 2020 season, before the new rules are set to come into play and the Formula One pecking order could shift once more. Whether Renault make a Mercedes-like gain as they did in 2014 could be the difference between Ricciardo staying and leaving the team.

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