McLaren’s “rapid progression” convinced Ricciardo to leave Renault

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says he decided to leave Renault and join McLaren because he was impressed by the rate of progress the team had made.

What they say

Ricciardo was asked what McLaren offered which Renault did not:

I think what I saw in the last couple of years was rapid progression. I think a lot of teams have made progress, but it didn’t seem like any at the rate McLaren had.

They’ve gone through a big restructure through 2015, ’16, ’17 and it felt like it had now been in the right place where they’ve got now some stability and then this rapid progression. So that’s what I see.

I think the the work ethic around the team is really good and I’m trying to just embed myself and try to be another positive piece to the puzzle.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Miltiadis has a few concerns about the Jeddah Street Circuit layout revealed yesterday:

The first one is safety. The circuit seems extremely tight in most parts and the vast majority of corners are high speed.

High speed corners and minimal runoff doesn’t sound that good to me. Imagine having a puncture like the one that Kvyat suffered at Silverstone in one of the high speed parts…

Bar the initial safety concerns, overtaking seems to be rather difficult in this layout.

Turns one and seem like a copy of the Hanoi corners one and two, plus the main overtaking spot (turn 27), is a short straight after a sequence of multiple high speed corners. It’s exit seems super-tight as well, so honestly I can’t see many cars going side by side there.

Another poor addition to the calendar, but as usual in Formula 1, money is a key deciding factor in many stuff.
Miltiadis (@Miltosgreekfan)

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “McLaren’s “rapid progression” convinced Ricciardo to leave Renault”

    1. That Italian story about the Ferrari copy has three pictures and the 3rd also shows a copy of a McLaren MP4 with the distinctive red and white coloring.
      They look the life-sized 3D prints — the front wing of the Ferrari does not have gaps between the elements! I’d love to get the STL for both though so I could print miniature versions!

      1. Article says it is a 1:1 replica made of fibreglass and it has no engine of any type. Made in Brazil by “Traçando o ponto” not to be confused with tracing point, for presumably display on a car dealer.

        1. Cue the Haas stunkworks theory…

    2. Or was it “Renaults poor progression”. He joined a team that seemed to be closing the gap to the top 3 in 2018, only to drop back into the midfield in 2019. He must have felt the lack of progression during the 2020 winter tests.

      But I wonder if McLaren can actually make that step to close the gap with Mercedes and Red Bull. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari, Aston Martin, Alpine and Alpha Tauri are closer to McLaren than McLaren is close to Mercedes and Red Bull.

      1. I would agree with Dan, that Mclaren has been a team with the most consistent upwards trend since 2018. Although… you know Ferrrari’s failure to show up in 2020 was a big reason that they actually entered the top 3.

        Maybe Dan’s decision was just based on momentum.. he caught Renault on a downward trend and decided to bail. He saw Mclaren on an upward trend and decided to join them instead. Honestly, Mclaren could have a good year this season and fail to show up in 2022. I felt it’s a bit of a coin toss between Mclaren and Renault..

        1. As I see it, on paper at least Renault ‘should’ be the better option as they are the ones who are integrating their own pu to their own car all in-house. Mac as a customer will never beat the actual works manufacturer, in this case for them Merc. It’s just that Renault has not capitalized on their full in-house advantages.

          The best DR can hope for is a race win or two (a lucky one given the competition), but never the title at Mac, at least not until F1 heads back towards something closer to what it was before 2014, which was plug and play. Mac has had great success in the past, as have other teams, using someone else’s engine, but that no longer works, and Brawn has spoken about something less complex and more plug and play for the next pu chapter.

          Meanwhile, and as I say on paper at least, it is FA that ‘should’ have the upper hand on Mac, at least for the title, if they can get their act together. Not saying they will. Not saying DR hasn’t made the right decision in terms of being in a better car for now, but he simply will not be Champion at Mac, in this current format. That is not at all speaking to his talent nor suggests he doesn’t have enough of it. Simply a customer of Merc will never beat Merc themselves while integration of chassis to pu and pu to chassis has never been so vital.

          1. @robbie
            I agree with you. Danny will never be the champ at team orange.
            But perhaps he sees this as a stop on his route to Merc itself ?
            Come 2023 we could see him joining George and replacing Lewis at Merc.
            Entirely speculative at this point but am pretty sure he doesnt want to stay at McLaren in the long term.

          2. @Robbie, given it’s been ages since a top tier team had a Mercedes PU, I don’t agree.
            The PU’s these days are pretty much plug and play – just a lot more plugs than the pre hybrid era. There has not been any massive alteration to configuration and mounting points and now “party modes” are no longer in play, there’s no real disadvantage to the customer.
            I’m sure Mercedes will actually be a bit more nervous this year because they’ve actually given a historical good chassis builder a chance with their PU, which is something they haven’t had to concern themselves with for a long time.

            1. @dbradock Have to disagree with you. I think F1 has never been further from plug and play than it is now. Perhaps a little less so than at the start of this hybrid chapter as teams have learned things, but so have the factory works teams. I doubt Mercedes have a single concern about Mac and their real concern will be about RBR. No wonder there’s now an article here, which I haven’t read yet, with Seidl saying in Keith’s headline they’ll have a tough time hanging on to third. I’m not surprised by him saying that at all. He knows they won’t touch Merc and RBR, and he’d probably be talking about fighting for fourth at best not third if Ferrari weren’t coming from so far out of it last year.

            2. @robbie I guess we’ll see in a weeks time.
              The Mercedes car looked as bad as I’ve ever seen it at testing and this year with budget caps they aren’t going to be able to throw millions at it if indeed they’ve made a hash of their chassis.
              Yes, their main rival will of course be RBR but I think you’ll find that the top of the midfield (Mclaren, Ferrari & possibly AM) will be closer than ever this year and all it will take is a bit of a misstep in chassis design on the part of Mercedes and a really top job by one of the other 3 and they could find themselves down the order.

              Bring on next Saturday and Sunday – let’s talk after that.

            3. @dbradock Oh for sure. We’ll only know when we know, and after race one they’ll all be doing their thing and then we’ll see for race two, different track, different circumstances etc etc. It takes the whole season of races to decide the Champions and nothing gets written in stone from one race.

              My mindset since testing has been to be quite politically correct to give the nod to Mercedes, as for now they are the proven benchmark until someone else actually proves otherwise with rubber to the road when it counts on points days.

              But in the background, and I’ve tried to keep it ‘healthy’ for myself, lol, I’m quite stoked about RBR and Honda that they have come up with something special. I haven’t been too vocal about that, because again, respectively the nod goes to Mercedes imho, in spite of testing, for they have been the dominant ones for so long and have earned that until someone knocks them off the block and makes themselves the benchmark. That’s basically what Max is saying too, so I’m happy to go along with him on that. Expect Merc to still be the benchmark, hope for RBR to change that narrative.

      2. ..or he didn’t want Alonso as team mate

        1. He wouldn’t have Alonso as a team mate. Alonso only has a seat because Ric went to McLaren…

          1. It’s impossible to believe Renault wouldn’t have made way for Alonso by letting Ocon go.

            In fact, the loss of Ricciardo was a big blow to the team. Abiteboul was seriously upset, but understandably so. An Alonso-Ricciardo partnership would be dynamite. Best driver pairing on the grid by far IMO.

    3. There are plans for a sell out rock musical held in a stadium in Victoria in November, if the F1 can’t go ahead with socially distanced outdoor crowds it will be very disappointing.

      1. Strategies / results from high attendance AFL will soon give relevant information for Govt to work with.
        International attendance is a completely different story with vacc. passports etc in flux, AGP will be waiting until at least mid year I suspect (assuming the premier gets back on his feet by then). I don’t think that will make any difference to the event itself, just size of AGP’s deficit and flow down to the wider economy.
        If the quote reflects true AGP attitude – I’m disappointed, the last thing they can afford is a regime that changes, particularly at the last minute.

      2. Nigh on 50,000 spectators in a stadium last night for the footy. There’s got to be a point where they say ‘this is what you can plan for’ while still reserving the right to make changes to those guidelines if the local situation demands.

    4. Interesting that he keeps referring to McLaren as “they”.
      Clearly doesn’t feel like a “we” yet. Understandable as he wasn’t part of the progression, but all through testing I only heard him say “they”. Even “the team” would make it seem like he felt more comfortable.

      1. Because here he’s talking about the past, when he wasn’t a part of the team

      2. By all accounts, from everyone that has seen Ric in the team he looks like a driver who has been with the team for years. He seems more settled, and genuinely a lot more comfortable than he ever did at Renault. The way he went about bringing the Renault team around him last year even after signing a contract with a direct rival is a huge nod to Ric’s growth as a driver and leader. It speaks volumes of his character that he was able to put aside Cyrils remarks and crack on with a great season.

    5. Re COTD: The first two corners aren’t as tight as Hanoi’s equivalents, so less unenjoyable. Overall, I like the track’s high-speed nature, although I wish for a bit slighter turning angles at parts.

    6. Re the Saudi track, I’ve got to say, the layout has piqued my interest.

      I think Bacu has shown fast street circuits can work well.

      1. I hope it’s width enough otherwise it’s going to suck. But i wished there was a hill orso to make it more unpf

    7. The title of the AGP article describing the wait for details as ‘agony’ is really maddening.
      They are complaining that they might have to follow the same quarantaine rules as the tennis did and that they don’t yet have all the details for November!

      AGP is in one of the 10 or so countries in the world where people can live almost normally thanks to the measures the government took. Australia, like a lot of countries, had a bad start to the pandemic but instead of persisting in half measures and going through wave after wave they reorganised and brought the country to normal in a minimal amount of time.

      AGP should be patient and be thankful that they can live almost normally while the rest of the world goes through semi lockdown after semi lockdown. We in Europe haven’t had a sporting event or a restaurant visit or any social gathering in a year now. But please keep complaining about your government being careful.

      I like F1 as much as everyone here, but the whining AGP should be quit and follow the rules of 1 of the few governments that has shown to be capable.

    8. The rapid progression that renault made, combined with max being the main attraction at redbull, was the reason riciardo went to renault, wasn’t it? Does he have a thing with rapid progressions

      1. It seems so ;-). I guess he is getting nervous. And he should be. He never got a shot at the title while he is one of those drivers that can achieve it if you hand him the right material. He never got it while others (Lewis and before that Vettel) did and capitalized on it, heavily. Now there is clearly a new batch of contenders and he must feel his momentum is slipping away, making him nervous. You need luck. Lewis could have been stuck on 3 or 4 titles on own merit, Vettel imho can not claim more than 1 title based on his driving. So their additional titles are partly luck (ofcourse the chance you get the best car increases with your own abilities) If one has luck, there must be some others missing out… Ricciardo.. but also Max (who is younger and does still have time, but the rules are the same for all… you need some luck)

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