Ricciardo sees move from Red Bull as low risk as his reward will be bigger at Renault this season

Daniel Ricciardo shocked many when he announced he would leave Red Bull to join Renault in 2019. Ricciardo suffered eight retirements in 2018, and while he lost his temper at times the 29-year-old revealed it was only because he cared about fulfilling his potential.ย 

Yet, now the Australian has admitted he does not expect to win any races this year, with podium finishes also set to become a rarity that is celebrated as vigorously as he has done with race wins in the past.

In 2018โ€™s Australian Grand Prix Ricciardo finished fourth after Verstappen in third, Vettel in second and Hamilton in first. If the 29-year-old does not make inroads this year there is a chance he will be forgotten about.

โ€œThere is a chance I will be less in the spotlight,โ€ Ricciardo revealed. โ€œNaturally if youโ€™re not fighting for podiums then thatโ€™s how it is.โ€

โ€œThe more I think about it I donโ€™t see it too much of a gamble,โ€ said Ricciardo. โ€œWeโ€™re not coming in saying, โ€˜Weโ€™re going to winโ€™ so the expectation and the bar is initially not very high. Whereas at Red Bull every year we built ourselves up, because theyโ€™d won in the past, and felt itโ€™s going to happen.

โ€œThe risk is being let down every year and if I stayed there the risk was it doesnโ€™t work again and with Honda maybe that doesnโ€™t happen. So the risk of failure is greater than coming here and having the risk of not winning.

Ricciardo set a new contract deadline after delay

โ€œOut of the two options, they both have some risk but with risk comes reward and I feel that because the growth here is potentially a lot bigger, I feel the reward can certainly be bigger here.โ€

Ricciardo said he will not be measuring himself or his new team against Red Bull this season, and he has already felt he was part of a team that wasnโ€™t content with just finishing fourth.

โ€œItโ€™s certainly not a midfield attitude. Itโ€™s like, โ€˜Letโ€™s attack those top teams,โ€™โ€ he said.

Renault are adamant they have had their best off-season yet, having thrown nearly everything out from last season and started from scratch as they attempt to chase down the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Ricciardoโ€™s former team, Red Bull.

After notching 2 early wins in his final season with Red Bull, Ricciardo’s year unravelled after the mid-season break which in part explains his decision to pursue a clean break and a new seat at Renault. And he will be doing so in a new car that Renault revealed at Renaultโ€™s team launch on Tuesday.

Ricciardo will get the first taste of his new car at a closed-door shakedown event at Silverstone on Wednesday. The opening winter test starts in Barcelona next week.

 

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