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Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo believes Renault has eradicated many of its self-doubts since the Aussie joined the team in 2019. This happened after a successful five-year stint with Red Bull when Ricciardo shocked the world of Formula One by signing a two-year deal with Renault in late 2018.
However, his maiden season with the French team was less than ideal, prompting the driver to look elsewhere, announcing during the coronavirus lockdown he would be joining McLaren in 2021. Ricciardo’s second season with Renault was considerably more rewarding, earning two podiums and finishing fifth overall on the Drivers’ Standings.
The 31-year-old says he sensed more confidence among team members at Enstone during 2020 compared to when he first joined Renault, which is understandable considering the team’s minimal success since returning to F1 with a works operation in 2016. “I saw a lot more confidence in the team, just as far as personnel,” Ricciardo said, as reported by Motorsport.com.
“There was that feeling now that, ‘Yeah, we can do it’, where I felt like I walked into a bit more of a timid environment early on. “It’s not criticism. It’s just the team wasn’t used to it. They hadn’t been successful in quite a few years, so everyone can start to have some self-doubts.” Ricciardo has not won an F1 race since he represented Red Bull in 2018, but still considered his two-year stint at Renault a “success”.
“I guess there’s levels of success,” Ricciardo said. “Real success would be winning a title in the two years, but definitely stepping on the podium a couple of times made it feel like a success. “It’s not like we fluked some good results. I really believe we were there and we persisted. There were so many fourth places, and we finally made it happen.
“But I think the turnaround as well, to see the step from last year to this year, shows that the work that was done last year, the building blocks definitely came to fruition, and we got a lot of use out of that learning from 2019.
“I’m not obviously claiming it all, but the feedback I was giving and trying to help out and everyone was trying to move forward. “So I see it as a success from that point of view.”
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