Renault: Ricciardo didn't buy 'unimpressive' Red Bull Honda praise

Renault Sport Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul believes new recruit Daniel Ricciardo was not convinced by Red Bull's praise of Honda, which he says was "unfair" on Renault

Renault: Ricciardo didn't buy 'unimpressive' Red Bull Honda praise

Red Bull will ditch Renault engines at the end of the season and switch to Honda, which Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said earlier this week had better resources than any of its rivals.

But Abiteboul said Ricciardo had reservations about Honda's power unit, despite positive noises from Toro Rosso and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insisting that Honda was a better long-term bet.

"What I appreciate is the fact that Daniel has his position, his agenda, his situation, which I don't want to comment on," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"But I don't think he was impressed by Red Bull's communications strategy, vis a vis Renault, vis a vis Honda, and how perfect Honda is.

"I think it's a bit unfair to Renault. I think Honda is progressing, but all the communication of Toro Rosso regarding Honda, when Honda has already introduced 11 or 12 power units - frankly it's a joke, and unimpressive.

"That they can influence a guy like Pierre Gasly I can understand, and not a driver like Daniel Ricciardo, and that I respect."

Abiteboul also insisted Renault's decision to hire Ricciardo was not motivated by trying to put one over on Red Bull and that there was no last minute push to persuade the Australian to move.

Ricciardo's announcement came less than a week after Red Bull team principal Christian Horner slammed Renault live on TV after Max Verstappen retired from the Hungarian Grand Prix with an MGU-K failure.

"It was nothing to do with the driver decision," said Abiteboul. "Frankly we don't think like that.

"In F1 you are always in competition for something, for an engineer, a sponsor, a position in the championship, drivers, many other things.

"We've not done or said anything, we are extremely genuine, we are honest in the way that we are presenting the facts. I have not suddenly made a representation or promise regarding next year or what he will get regarding salary.

"We are extremely straightforward in all of this.

"He knew the deal on the table, in terms of financial arrangements, but also in terms of the team, the shape we are in, the responsibility that we have to be part of the construction of the team and therefore of the car which is still not at the level of Red Bull, and will not be at the level of Red Bull next year. I think he knows that.

"It was just a thinking process in his own mind, he needed maybe the time a couple of days into the break to make this final decision, but there was not anything new on the our side in the last moments.

"Our offer had been around for a while, and he decided very late that it was the way that he wanted to follow for himself."

shares
comments
Bottas set to start Belgian GP at back as Mercedes upgrades engine

Previous article

Bottas set to start Belgian GP at back as Mercedes upgrades engine

Next article

Fernando Alonso hopes for apology from Red Bull F1 team management

Fernando Alonso hopes for apology from Red Bull F1 team management
Load comments
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021