Did Ricciardo make the right choice with McLaren? 'I don't know yet...'

20-03-2021 17:57 | Updated: 20-03-2021 18:06
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Did Ricciardo make the right choice with McLaren? 'I don't know yet...'

The 2020 season started with a big game of musical chairs, with many drivers switching teams. Daniel Ricciardo switched from Renault to the McLaren team. In Drive to Survive, the Australian explained his choice, but not everyone was happy with it.

In the 2018 season, Daniel Ricciardo made the surprising choice to leave Red Bull Racing and make the switch to Renault. After all, the Australian wanted to become champion and saw that opportunity fade with Max Verstappen becoming the leading force at the team. At the start of 2020 it was however announced that Daniel Ricciardo would drive for the McLaren team in 2021.

A remarkable choice for someone who wanted to make Renault a winning team. But in the Netflix series Drive to Survive, Ricciardo explained his choice, which was quite simple. Namely, he asked himself one question: "Can I win when all the cars finish? It still hurts to say this... but the answer is no. Deep down, I knew I had to leave," the smiling driver said in the documentary.

Cooled relationship with Cyril

It was an easy choice for Ricciardo, but not one that was taken in thanks by Cyril Abiteboul, Renault's team boss at the time.

"For everyone at Renault, the focus is stability within the team. Pure focus on the season. We need to be in position for podiums and then fighting for wins and then the championship. But Daniel has put a stop to that," the Frenchman explained.

It didn't do the relationship between Abiteboul and Ricciardo any good, which also led to the pair not talking to each other for a while. A painful situation that Christian Horner knows all too well.

"It's probably a bit like being dumped by your girlfriend, but she then continues to live with you. It must have been weird for Cyril, knowing all season that your driver is leaving at the end for your biggest rival. There's no doubt he's taken that personally."

Whether Ricciardo made the right choice, that remains to be seen. The Australian even had his doubts about that after finishing on the podium at the Eifel Grand Prix. "I don't know yet if I've made the best choice in my career. It could fall either way."

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