Infotainment Factory: Ricciardo hits out at 'speculation' behind switch

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Ricciardo hits out at 'speculation' behind switch


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Australian Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo has refuted any suggestion his surprise move to Renault was motivated by money.

Ricciardo is rumoured to be earning $49m per season for the next two years, having switched to Renault for 2019 after five seasons with Red Bull.

But with Red Bull regarded as one of the “Big Three” teams behind Mercedes and Ferrari, and Renault not having scored a single podium since returning to the sport in 2016, Ricciardo looks likely to be trailing behind his old team, at least in the short term.

The move prompted conjecture the Australian is putting money before results, a claim Ricciardo vehemently denies.

“No-one knows what I’m making and what I would have made at Red Bull, so that’s more speculation,” Ricciardo said.

He went on to admit that he didn’t see Red Bull seriously challenging the status quo in 2019, with Mercedes once again the favourites having won the last five drivers’ championships. With that in mind, Ricciardo was able to look further down the track than just the coming year, making a move to Renault more appealing.

“I think in the short-term I can’t see anyone beating Mercedes or maybe Ferrari in the next season,” he said.

“I don’t think I’m necessarily sacrificing any victories (by switching teams). I definitely had to take a medium term approach. I want to win yesterday, but I feel this is something that will give me wins down the track.

“It might not come tomorrow, I’m aware of that, but I don’t think it’s taking as much of a step back as it may seem on paper. It’s not a money move.”

Ricciardo compared his situation to that of Lewis Hamilton in 2012, who announced he was switching from McLaren to Mercedes for the following season. At the time it seemed like a step backwards, but the new regulations that came into force from 2014 turned Mercedes into the team to beat. Hamilton has now won four of the last five world titles, with the team victorious in 74 of the 100 races in that time.

It’s a career path Ricciardo would love to emulate, but he realises 2019 will be a year of consolidation for Renault, who finished fourth in the championship last year, although they only scored fewer than 20 percent of the total points as champions Mercedes.

Speaking following the launch of Renault’s car for the upcoming season, Ricciardo admitted that when it comes to race wins and world titles, he’s already looking to 2020.

“I think realistically not as soon as this year (challenging for the title), but certainly the plan is to lay more of a foundation for that this year,” he said.

“We have to see how much we achieve in the next 12 months, but hopefully as soon as next year we can start properly fighting.

“I don’t think there’s many limitations holding us back.”

Australian Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo has refuted any suggestion his surprise move to Renault was motivated by money.

Ricciardo is rumoured to be earning $49m per season for the next two years, having switched to Renault for 2019 after five seasons with Red Bull.

But with Red Bull regarded as one of the “Big Three” teams behind Mercedes and Ferrari, and Renault not having scored a single podium since returning to the sport in 2016, Ricciardo looks likely to be trailing behind his old team, at least in the short term.

The move prompted conjecture the Australian is putting money before results, a claim Ricciardo vehemently denies.

“No-one knows what I’m making and what I would have made at Red Bull, so that’s more speculation,” Ricciardo said.

He went on to admit that he didn’t see Red Bull seriously challenging the status quo in 2019, with Mercedes once again the favourites having won the last five drivers’ championships. With that in mind, Ricciardo was able to look further down the track than just the coming year, making a move to Renault more appealing.

“I think in the short-term I can’t see anyone beating Mercedes or maybe Ferrari in the next season,” he said.

“I don’t think I’m necessarily sacrificing any victories (by switching teams). I definitely had to take a medium term approach. I want to win yesterday, but I feel this is something that will give me wins down the track.

“It might not come tomorrow, I’m aware of that, but I don’t think it’s taking as much of a step back as it may seem on paper. It’s not a money move.”

Ricciardo compared his situation to that of Lewis Hamilton in 2012, who announced he was switching from McLaren to Mercedes for the following season. At the time it seemed like a step backwards, but the new regulations that came into force from 2014 turned Mercedes into the team to beat. Hamilton has now won four of the last five world titles, with the team victorious in 74 of the 100 races in that time.

It’s a career path Ricciardo would love to emulate, but he realises 2019 will be a year of consolidation for Renault, who finished fourth in the championship last year, although they only scored fewer than 20 percent of the total points as champions Mercedes.

Speaking following the launch of Renault’s car for the upcoming season, Ricciardo admitted that when it comes to race wins and world titles, he’s already looking to 2020.

“I think realistically not as soon as this year (challenging for the title), but certainly the plan is to lay more of a foundation for that this year,” he said.

“We have to see how much we achieve in the next 12 months, but hopefully as soon as next year we can start properly fighting.

“I don’t think there’s many limitations holding us back.”

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