Daniel Ricciardo Cyril Abiteboul

Ricciardo: Everything is cool with Abiteboul

Daniel Ricciardo Cyril Abiteboul

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo insists there is no awkwardness between himself and team principal Cyril Abiteboul, despite the latter’s stormy response to his impending departure.

After Ricciardo announced in May he would be leaving the Enstone outfit for McLaren, Abiteboul responded in a statement by implying the Australian did not share the ‘critical values’ of ‘reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment’.

And while many outside observers speculated the two would subsequently share a frosty relationship in the Renault garage, Ricciardo maintains he has no issue with the Frenchman’s words.

“I didn’t take it personally,” he told Channel 4. “I was aware of some articles but I have spoken to him since that and the dust has settled and everything is cool.

“But also I think that is the competitive spirit you see not just in the drivers but the teams as well. When they believe in something and you want something, you are going to collide somewhere.

“From my side, there is still a ton of people in this Renault organisation who are happy to have me here and are still excited to see me drive.

“I will be racing for myself because I still want to compete in the race but I still want to give back to them everything I signed up for.

“I guess I’ve been here before with Red Bull. The shock from the news [of my departure] takes a bit of a hit but as time passes everybody just gets back to work. That’s what we’ll do.”

His departure from Renault triggered by the departure of Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari, Ricciardo was believed to be under consideration as his replacement before the Scuderia opted to go with Carlos Sainz instead, paving the way for the Australian to move to McLaren.

Asked whether Ferrari made a mistake in passing him over for the Spaniard, Ricciardo refused to bite on the question.

Time will tell, but it is not really my business,” he said.

“I get where you are coming from. I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t because everyone for years has been like ‘yeah! Ricciardo is Italian bla bla bla red car’ so I get it from that side but I don’t want to take anything away from Carlos.

“He had a tremendous 2019 and he really established himself so I think he put himself in the driving seat.”