Daniel talks about the long and complex phase that led him to sign for Renault, the team that convinced him more for the progress achieved in the last seasons.
McLaren was an environment that immediately convinced him. But not the right one to build a competitive project in the short term. In Red Bull there were doubts well beyond the duration of the agreement to be discussed. In the end, Renault was the best choice possible. Daniel Ricciardo talks again about the complex story that led him to sign with the French team, the advantage of being able to count on the support of an official house, prospects of constant approach to the top and, above all, that new environment and difference from Red Bull which he felt it was necessary to him.
Daniel likes to remember the collection of events and how he was impressed during the discussions with McLaren, except to realize (clearly from the direct words of management) that could not have been the team with which to be fighting for positions in view of a F1 championship or race victories.
I knew the options available were restricted. I knew that the Mercedes or Ferrari solution would not be posible to become reality. It was a choice between Red Bull, McLaren and Renault. And, really, I was not sure what to do until I had a couple of meetings with McLaren and I really liked them, I had positive feelings. But it seemed like an overly optimistic choice to go there at that time.
The long negotiations with Red Bull have stalled first on the duration of the contract, 2 years asked by the team, a single year to verify the competitiveness of Honda was my request. Nobody was really too much convinced. This because it would replicate the scenario of an extension to be discussed within 12 months, with another power unit only able to dispel doubts about competitiveness.
In fact, I had already questioned the possibility of doing another year, let alone two. I thought: What if Honda does not work ?
It will just be another year of frustrations !
Now, the Japanese motorist wants to start this season of 2019 to attack as the third best supplier in the grid, Renault is sure that it has worked hard enough this winter and they can be ahead. Two years of contract for Ricciardo, seasons in which realistically he can work to reduce the gap from the first, preparing for the great new regulations that will arrive in 2021, when the driver market is in turmoil, with the expiration of Contracts of the various Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen all at the end 2020.
Ricciardo will find Nico Hulkenberg, in a confrontation between the most interesting team mates of the entire grid:
I like the idea of having him as a team mate. I always kept it in high regard, we raced against in the youth series and won everything. The work he has done in the team and his experience will help. I know that he is motivated because it has that statistic that many pilots do not want to have: an absence of a podium in his career.
Everyone knows it is worth what it takes to get it.
The other statistic, which does not give too much hope to the teams behind the top three, says of only two riders to conquer a podium in 2017 and 2018 that were not on a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull.
We need special conditions in the race to undermine a consolidated script. To Renault the task of taking advantage of it.
Nico is going to be motivated and my arrival will motivate him even more…
I think this can give us a boost and accelerate the improvements of Renault team