F1 News: Renault managing director compares Ricciardo's arrival to Alonso's glory years
What's the story?
Renault F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul said the staff's reaction after signing Daniel Ricciardo last year reminded him of Fernando Alonso's glory years with the French manufacturer.
In case you didn't know...
Daniel Ricciardo had been a part of the Red Bull team since 2014 but endured a stressful 2018 season that saw him miss out on a huge chunk of points due to mechanical failures.
In what everyone saw as a shock move, during the 2018 F1 season, Daniel Ricciardo made a move to Renault F1 from Red Bull for the upcoming 2019 Formula One season.
Renault had a mediocre season in 2018 and would be hoping that with the signing of Daniel Ricciardo, the team could push further to reach higher positions on the championship table and possibly compete with the big-three in Formula One.
The heart of the matter
Abiteboul was clearly ecstatic with the Australian's signing and said, "It was obviously a huge relief, fantastic news – and the way it was welcomed in the factories at Viry and Enstone was just amazing."
"I was expecting something, but nothing in relation to what I have been able to witness.
"It was a fantastic moment. I have never seen a reaction like that in either of the two factories. It was reminding me of the titles with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006," Renault managing director said making a direct comparison with the Spaniard.
"I don’t want to feel what McLaren must have felt with Fernando over the past few years," Abiteboul added stating that team needs to perform to the fullest in the coming years.
"We feel more obliged towards Renault, towards our sponsors, towards our fans, towards the legacy of the Renault brand in motorsport, because I don't want to look at disappointment or frustration in his eyes over the next two years. We have not won anything, but there is this feeling that now we are really on a trajectory to be able to win something. We really feel now this obligation to come up with an engine and a chassis that will be capable of giving what that guy deserves," he told Motorsport.com.
Furthermore, Cyril Abiteboul even assured that Daniel Ricciardo knew about Renault's immediate prospects and expected the Australian to lead the team from the front. He also hoped that Ricciardo would like the challenge he would face at Renault, and believed that the team could secure a win in the not so distant future.
The 2019 Formula One season will start on 17 March 2019 at the Melbourne Grand Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia.