Ricciardo's big money deal is good value, says Renault

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul insists the cost of hiring Daniel Ricciardo for this year is good value for money – even if the team is not expecting to win yet.

Ricciardo's big money deal is good value, says Renault

Ricciardo has made a shock switch from Red Bull to Renault for 2019, after feeling that the time was right for him to make a career change.

And while some have questioned the Australian's decision on competitive grounds, his deal was sweetened by him taking a major pay hike over what he was expected to get if he had stayed at Red Bull.

With Renault still in the building up phase and not expecting to challenge for wins until 2020 at the earliest, the extra cost of hiring Ricciardo could obviously have been spent on further bolstering its staff or infrastructure.

More Ricciardo insight:

But Abiteboul is clear that the benefits of having a top-line driver like Ricciardo on board go far beyond just what he is capable of delivering on track.

"There is a considerable financial commitment from Renault," Abiteboul told Motorsport.

"But it is not a question of whether Renault can afford it: it can definitely afford it as our turnover is 40 times the turnover of Red Bull. There is no question mark about that.

"The question mark is about the value. Does it make sense to invest that type of money in a driver at the level of Daniel at this point of our journey, with the car that we have and the other expense that we must do? We believe so.

"There has been some discussion about that. Would we be better off investing in to the car or the drivers?

"I think we have reached a point where we can invest in both reasonably."

Renault is looking to close the gap to the top three, which has comprised Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull for the past few seasons.

Abiteboul suggested that Renault was not held to ransom over the terms of the deal to convince Ricciardo, and stressed the outlay would not hit the team in other areas.

"I would also like to say that the commercial arrangement with Daniel is extremely sensible and nowhere near what can exist elsewhere in F1," said Abiteboul.

"It is obviously commensurate to the level of his skills and talent, and what he can bring to the team. But it is not a stupid amount of money.

"So I think it has all been done in a sensible way, and it is not in a way that will be detrimental to the team who can keep on spending on the development of the car and the engine."

shares
comments
Former Ferrari junior Zhou gets Renault F1 role

Previous article

Former Ferrari junior Zhou gets Renault F1 role

Next article

What Ferrari must do to beat Mercedes

What Ferrari must do to beat Mercedes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021