Ocon signing creates “another dynamic” at Renault

The Frenchman is replacing Nico Hulkenberg this year, after spending last season on the sidelines as a Mercedes simulator driver.

Ocon, who last raced with Racing Point/Force India in 2018, began his F1 career as a Renault young driver.

“It’s another dynamic,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. “He will push us in a different way, a new energy, a new aggressivity, in my opinion a fully positive one, coming also with a different set of experiences, having worked with Mercedes.

“So it’s good, but at the end of the day we can do lots of things with drivers, but what needs to be better is obviously the racing car.”

Abiteboul contrasted Ocon’s impact with that of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who moved from Red Bull to Renault in 2019.

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The Australian’s decision to abandon a winning car raised expectations, and inevitably it was regarded a step backwards when he was not able to come close to the sort of results that he was used to.

Abiteboul is confident that Ocon will have upward momentum and achieve better results than he did at his previous team.

“I think it’s slightly different. He’s still in the construction phase. First, he’s coming back to racing, which is good news.

“Hopefully he will have a better car than the one he had last time he drove, so it’s a positive dynamic for us when a lot of people attribute our bad 2019 season to the decision with Daniel, and his season with us, as more of a negative dynamic.

“I can see more positive things spinning out of Esteban. it’s not that Daniel was negative, because I praise what Daniel has pushed the team to do.

“But he put pressure on the team with the expectations he created in the media sphere by joining the team. It’s what we wanted, but de facto he create a huge amount of expectation, way above what we promised.

“And by doing that it has led to a reaction from the team when we saw we were not at the required level.”

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