Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, 2019

Ricciardo arrival motivated Renault staff to skip holidays – Abiteboul

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In the round-up: Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says the team’s staff was motivated to work longer hours during the Christmas break by the knowledge that Daniel Ricciardo was joining them.

What they say

If you were standing in our position and looking at that opportunity of securing Daniel last summer and deciding not to do it what does that mean? It means that you don’t believe in yourself.

How do you want me to be standing in front of the factory and trying to motivate everyone and explaining to everyone that we are in line with the plan, but if you have one of the best drivers out there that’s available and you don’t go for him, what would that mean?

By default we could not let that opportunity pass without seizing it. And now it’s just accepting the responsibility that this means for, for me for myself, for Renault and for the whole team.

But at the same time it’s a huge opportunity to motivate everyone. We made the decision in the winter we just discussed about how much we push production. No one is complaining about that because everyone wants to give the best possible car to Daniel.

In winter in Viry we’ve got the team open on Saturdays, we cancelled holidays. We usually have a factory shut down on week 52 before Christmas because that’s the best way to optimise resources. We cancelled that. No one criticised that decision on the basis of the driver that we have.

So also on the management perspective it’s creating some pressure but it’s also an opportunity. It’s making my life easier to impose to everyone the sort of condition that we will have.

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Comment of the day

An interesting contrast between Ricciardo and his new team mate Nico Hulkenberg from @Gechichan:

As much as I like Hulkenberg, I feel he’s the exact opposite of Ricciardo when it comes to converting slim chances into podiums or wins. Hulkenberg has had a few chances when he could have broken his infamous record when he drove for Force India (even Perez had a couple of podiums for them), but somehow failed to do so by his own mistakes or bad luck. On the other hand Ricciardo is the best ‘thief’ in the pack, so i’m not sure we’ll see a podium for Hulkenberg this year.
@Gechichan

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  • 36 comments on “Ricciardo arrival motivated Renault staff to skip holidays – Abiteboul”

    1. I’m finding FE kinda dissapointing, i know most of the time there is excitement, but like todays race, the only overtakes were because they make mistakes, and thats mostly due to the unstable car. in 20 minutes there was no overtaking(over a 45 min race), and the only way they did was when they used attack mode, which is 3 or 4 laps. They hype the cars up to be close following, and yes they do, but you can’t overtake with them, the first race was exciting, but the last were really boring for me. It annoys me that the only way to win or overtake is to hope that the other driver makes a mistake or that you have the boost, it’s not anymore about who’s the fastest.

      1. Usually there’re a good number of overtakes in FE. The lack of overtakes today is more because of the track layout. Your conclusion based only in one race is maybe misleading.

        1. @miami I liked seeing those cars go around the track (ie. qualifying was good, I guess? I thought only Massa and Wehrlein really did that last chicane well, and they were rewarded), but indeed, there weren’t many ‘normal’ ways to overtake, and the (obvious strategy of) defensive use of attack mode neutralized that at least for most of the field.

          I do have to agree that it’s mostly mistakes, or the car being unstable that then force sudden mayhem/overtakes. It has its excitement but doesn’t quite feel like real racing, though the fight for the lead (with energy use being a full part of race strategy) was pretty good.

          1. @miani, sorry, thought of the city in Florida, USA :)

            1. It’s my surname Miani.

        2. @miani i know there are normally more overtakes, and it not the first race i’ve watched, but in the last 4 races i’ve seen only overtakes with attack mode, few without. it’s dissapointing and also misleading if your cars can follow this close to each other, but then when it comes to overtaking they cant get a meter closer. if you have good pace you cant overtake because the car infront is a mobile chicane. if you have to hope that the other car makes a mistake to overtake somebody, it not fun anymore, and people who want to prove themselves only get the chance in qualifying because the performance in the race is dummed down

      2. Some FE races are good, but personally I find the excitement somewhat lacking this season. Looking at the social media and the race recap, it reminds me of Mitch Evans’ unlucky race last time in Rome, except this time its much more boring. The only exciting thing on this ePrix was that pole lap from Pascal, that was a ballsy move on turn 13.

        I agree with your assessment that this season has been a battle of attrition, while racing comes second. D’Ambrosio was gifted in Marrakesh, Santiago ePrix had an awful tarmac, now we have this mess. I also think the all out Riyadh ePrix was the best race of the season, despite all that nonsense penalties. Hong Kong was OK last year, hopefully the race will be better there next month

        1. …despite all that nonsense penalties.

          That’s what bothers me the most about FE compared to F1. The stewarding is very extreme and it detracts from racing most of the time. Just a few examples from yesterday (and previous races only this season):

          1. Wehrlein was instantly given a 5 seconds time penalty for cutting the chicane, but he had nowhere because he was pushed outside bu DiGRassi. He imediately slowed down to be caught and in a couple of corners he was overtaken. It seemed harsh for his first mistake and for an unintended one where he didn’t gain anything. Just let them fight.

          2. Poor Vandoorne was given a drive-through and 5 seconds time for deploying fanboost too soon. To me it seemed he wasn’t his fault, that was clearly a glitch in the FE system, when they showed the availability of FB too soon. So, if you show drivers that this is available, why make them count the minutes until they can use it. On top of that, Vandoorne managed to somehow deploy more energy than allowed for FB (these rules and system that are glitchy in FE are really detracting from racing).

          3. Jerome D’ambrosio cut the chicane and gained 3 or 4 places when the red-flag incident happened. He was never investigated and restarted the race in 9th (having started from 19th).

          4. Worst of all was DiGRassi’s disqualification last race in Chile. He stuck it in on pole with over half a second advantage, but his cool-down lap was deemed illegal for some newly introduced braking rule infringement. So he had to start from the back of the grid, ruining all chances of a podium. That’s really harsh, couldn’t they give him a points penalty or grid places penalty for the next race?

          5. DS Techeetah drive-throughs in Ryadh were ridiculous.

          FE does a lot of things right, but forcing the stewards to artificially introduce some randomness and unknown into the races is not one of them.

          1. The stewards gave quick judgements, and that is the only good thing going on about them. Most of these rules that teams or drivers unintentionally break, we don’t have any explanations about it during the race. Especially when it is very technical about energy deployment or tire pressure, the commentators hardly give a decent amount of info or explanation on what the heck is going on. I still remember i turned off last season’s Zurich ePrix where almost every driver including JEV gets a penalty. That time it almost feels like a sabotage on his championship battle. Formula E really needs to improve on Stewarding and explaining the violations & infringements, knowing what is happening by reading through the media post-race when the penalties are handed straight away just feels wrong

      3. This year, there are huge amounts of marbles off-track, which seems to be hampering the overtaking.

    2. If you push people too hard (e.g. canceling long-anticipated holidays) then productivity and moral actually suffers. He says “Nobody is complaining about that…” but he really means nobody is complaining to him or other management, I bet they are complaining behind management’s back.

      1. This. Happens all the time

      2. Or they might just be happy to actually work, to perform as a team and push themselves to the front of the grid… if you gave any of the workers the choice of holidays and coming 4th or no holidays and coming 1st I bet I know which they would choose.

        1. Do you think their families would choose the same?

          1. For a while, if it results in success for the team, I’d think yes – that’s part of the deal of working in F1; but, a bit like Rosberg, it cannot last forever, which is why even successful team people eventually move on, I think.

          2. I genuinely couldn’t tell you, but we’re not talking about an extended period of changed working conditions, just over Christmas to ensure they are prepared for the team. I don’t have a working knowledge of the rights of workers in Europe, but in Australia they wouldn’t just be able to cancel holidays without the workers agreement.

          3. you get what you sign up for. go hard or go home!

            1. That’s all well and good, but all the evidence supports that this attitude gets worse results

      3. nothing a few Freddo’s (or frog’s legs in Viry) can’t solve ;)

    3. Its one thing to ahow off that the team is motivated .. but not on expense of Hulk and even Sainz. What he said means that they dont have the same motivation for others.

      1. @muralibhats Why is it so hard to believe that a multiple race winner who choose to leave arguably one of the best teams on the grid can have the magnetism to motivate employees greater then a driver who had never been on the podium?
        It does no disservice to the Hulk. Daniel simply had more charisma and appeal as well as a proven track record.

    4. Anyway enough about F1, what about that FE epic race?? More passing and action than a season of F1, and what a finish – a real race!

    5. But at the same time it’s a huge opportunity to motivate everyone. We made the decision in the winter we just discussed about how much we push production. No one is complaining about that because everyone wants to give the best possible car to Daniel.

      I could be wrong but I would imagine there was discussion with the team before the decision was made. This is a group of professionals, engineers and technicians. They all realize what’s at stake here and the goals they need to reach to claw back some credibility.
      Also Ricciardo no doubt realizes the hill he needs to climb to prove the doubters wrong. So even if they do not quite get the results they are aiming for. No one can ever deny the effort and work they put in to achieve success.

    6. Daniele Ricciardo, a true inspirator, a real leader whom people will follow on the path to success.

      Now we can fight.

      1. who’s Daniele? oh maybe his sister…

        1. @ming-mong
          The spelling was a reference to his Italian heritage. Capisci?

    7. Once read a piece from Kevin Cameron (Cycle World) in reference to motorcycle road racing, he noted “Lots of people want to be racers, but not everyone wants to race”.
      Renault is definitely sounding like a group of “racers” and my bet is that this is (or should be) inherent in the hiring process for the team. Just ask Ron Dennis if he wanted workers or racers.
      If the team is on board with the push for success, and having a motivating race winning driver will certainly help, am definitely looking forward to seeing the results.
      COTD …. Bang-on. Ricciardo is a proven “racer”, a winner and one who can make something out of little or nothing. The Hulk has an opportunity to learn from one of the best. My bet is he will and its gonna be great to watch.

    8. Interesting COTD and I agree with it to some extent at least. Yes, NH indeed had a few chances to achieve that elusive first podium before already but managed to throw that away by making an unforced error, both last season and 2017 in Baku, as well as, also potentially the inaugural race by his qualifying position, but, of course, this season is again a different thing, so anything’s possible.

    9. Good for Ericsson that he’s enjoying his drive in IndyCar, feeling he can make the difference as a driver there, as opposed to being relegated to the backend of the grid in F1.

      Great too to read his description of the difference in how CotA feels in either car (though I imagine the positives of IndyCar might have been enhanced, and F1 slightly damped, with it being an Indy article, it’s still a great read ;) and well done for making the time/pace difference logical, with the cars’ different (design) goals.

      Also, with him quickly being up to speed in IndyCar, and Wherlein being fast (though not a perfect FE racer yet) from the start of the season in Formula E, that’s a good reminder of the level of the grid in F1 (though poor Stoffel …)

    10. I believe that from marketing standpoints, it’s really in Renault’s best interest to win with DR rather with anybody else.

      1. True, but really from a marketing standpoint just a win alone would be huge for them, and if it was NH that won that would be a hugely sentimental positive for the team as well.

        1. That’s for sure. It will be also a great boost for Hulk’s career. It’s interesting to see how this is going to develop. NH and DR are on same pace day 1 and 2.

    11. That’s actually interesting – what if Hulk beats Daniel this season?

      Will Abiteboul come out and say that Renault’s staff (including Abiteboul) were simply unmotivated in 2017 and 2018 despite obviously having a better driver in F1? :-)

    12. So Renault said earlier in the week that there were a risk they wouldn’t do the shakedown on Saturday but then we have the video of the car leaving the pits so I assume they managed to do it.
      No more news about it here so I’ll look for’em in the Internet…

    13. I am a Ricciardo fan so nice to hear he has inspired the team but I can see why Hulkenburg made comments he is tired of questions about Dan. They might be using Dan’s arrival as inspiration and time to move up that next step, but they have to be careful not to leave Nico in the shade at the same time.

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