Date published: January 2 2019
Daniel Ricciardo hopes to take Renault to the “next level” after signing a two-year deal with the Enstone outfit.
The Aussie shocked the Formula One community when he announced he was leaving Red Bull at the end of 2018 to join Renault, with Mercedes, Ferrari or extending his Red Bull stint touted as his options at the time.
Ricciardo will partner Nico Hulkenberg as Renault, who returned to the sport as a manufacturer in 2016, set their sights on challenging the top three, after securing a ‘best of the rest’ 4th place in the 2018 Constructors Championship.
Speaking via F1 today, he said: “I want more from myself in terms of I’ll always want more, I expect more from my presence in the team.
“Nico is experienced and he’s been around and I want to expect myself to become part of that team very quickly. And have a presence in the team, and be another source of push and fire and motivation.
“I guess I’m just expecting to carry good work ethic and to bring the people around us to work on what they have.
“Obviously the driving I will always keep improving, but just try to figure out how to bring the team to the next level.
“Just be engaged in the whole process I guess and not get lazy.”
Managing director Cyril Abiteboul has backed the team to keep pushing and developing, and believes that securing Ricciardo was a huge piece of the puzzle.
“We know that obviously the further you go the bigger the steps and the more demanding they will be,” the Frenchman said.
“We would like to see, for instance, bridging the gap closer to the top teams in qualifying, in races, not being lapped.
“In terms of points scoring, this is the type of target that we will announce at the start of next season but you need to expect from us that we keep on progressing and completing the construction of the team.
“We expect Daniel to play a key role in that, just like he played a key role in Red Bull’s drive, in our opinion, on track but also off-track because we also feel that we need someone to embody that charge.
“Nico’s doing extremely well as a driver so I also look forward to that line-up to really properly represent the efforts and the ambitions of Renault in that new cycle.”