Thursday, 10 january 2019, 10:31 , by Matthew Scott
Daniel Ricciardo's arrival will immediately put Renault "in another dimension" according to team advisor and four-time world champion Alain Prost. Ricciardo left a Red Bull team with title ambitions in 2019 for a long-term project at the French squad, but the Australian will lift his new employers according to Prost.
Ricciardo's decision to switch Red Bull for Renault sent shockwaves through Formula 1, his move made all the more intriguing by Red Bull's decision to drop the French marque as engine partner for 2019 and instead teaming with Honda.
Renault hope to be title contenders by 2021 and Prost says the capture of Ricciardo is a key step in achieving that goal.
"We are very happy with the drivers we had in 2018, that's the first thing we must say," Prost told Motorsport. "We're very pleased with Carlos [Sainz].
"But for sure Daniel will give, not another motivation because we don't need that, but he's going to be quite a big help to make the team even better.
"He's going to give us some information, he's going to make the team in another dimension."
Renault finished fourth in the constructors' standings last year, having improved from ninth and sixth in successive years.
Going up another place will be hard given the gulf between F1's 'A' and 'B' class – a fact not lost on Prost.
"You cannot be on an upwards line like this, there's always some steps," he added.
"Maybe we were a little bit disappointed by some races, for sure, but the good thing is that the team was able to get back to it. That's the answer I would say.
"It's really difficult to make one more step to where they are. One thing that is difficult to accept sometimes is that especially Ferrari and Mercedes made a big improvement with the engine. So we had to move, and we're really moving for next year."