The 2020 Formula 1 season has now come to an end after this weekend´s race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi – the last race of this year, after a rollercoaster of up and downs for the championship due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
After this race, many teams will be changing its line-up for the 2021 season and one of the them is Renault DP World F1 Team where this season´s line-up consisted of the French team´s compariot Esteban Ocon and the Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo is the only driver from the team to be switching to a new team next season as he is set to join the McLaren team alongside Lando Norris – as Carlos Sainz will be switching over to Scuderia Ferrari.
The Renault team has now said farewell to Ricciardo after his two year involvement with the team. Ricciardo joined the Renault back in late 2018 after he departed from his long-term relationship with Red Bull Racing that same year. Ricciardo has established himself to be one of the most successful drivers in the past century: He is a seven-time race winner in F1 and he was selected to join the team to bring some fresh new energy, where he teamed up with Nico Hülkenberg.
For the 2019 season, Ricciardo and Hülkenberg both managed to bring Renault up to fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship. This season it has been better for Ricciardo despite the really tight schedule between the Grands Prix weekends, caused by the pandemic.
He has taken a total of three, four place finishes this year despite the challenging schedule between the tight Grand Prix weekends at Silverstone, Spa and Mugello, and was not so far away from reaching his maiden podium for the team on those three occasions.
Heading for the German Grand Prix, things changed for him, where he finally took that podium for the team, finishing in third place. If that wasn´t enough, he added yet another podium after a thrilling and spectacular race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – where he clinched second place and helped the team climb up the ladder to a third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“When the team signed Daniel in 2018, it clearly brought a lot of attention and some raised eyebrows in the paddock.” Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Renault DP World F1 Team, said. “It marked a statement of intent, coupled with some pressure from signing a multiple Grand Prix winner. The objectives after strong progress that year were very clear. While 2019 was disappointing from an overall championship perspective, there were memorable moments like in Canada and Italy. While those moments were fewer than we’d have liked, having a driver of Daniel’s ability brought clear and required changes to the team and his influence wen”t beyond just driving the car.
“This season, Daniel has been admirable in pushing on and his professionalism has been nothing short of exceptional, also after the announcement of his departure for next season. The moment in Germany with the first podium was a high point and signalled an important milestone in the team’s journey, which we will build upon. In this new phase as we transition from Renault to Alpine, the legacy left by Daniel will remain an integral part of our foundation. We look forward to fighting him on track with the team in a much better position courtesy of his influence. We thank Daniel for his contribution to the team over the last two years and we wish him the best for his new path.”