Ricciardo to remain "fully involved in the development process" at Renault - Abiteboul
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has said the team will not freeze McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo out of the development of the car, despite the 2020 machinery being carried over into 2021.
When a driver moves from one team to another, there is often a scurry to prevent any secrets leaving with them.
However, as McLaren will be using all its 'upgrade tokens' to adapt the MCL35's chassis to house a Mercedes power unit, the team switching away from Renault power for 2021, McLaren will not be able to benefit from any knowledge taken by Ricciardo.
In this case, Renault freezing out Ricciardo would only serve to hinder itself.
"It would make absolutely no sense, and Daniel will be fully involved in the development process of the car also, because the car is more-or-less frozen between this year and next year, also McLaren will have to use all their tokens on pure chassis-engine integration, so [there will be] no performance development there," Abiteboul told a media conference call including GPFans.
"That will give us the opportunity to work extremely normally with Daniel.
"Obviously, he won't be exposed to 2022, but frankly we would not do that anyway, becuse it's still a bit far away from a driver perspective."
When quizzed on what Renault is looking for in Ricciardo's replacement, Abiteboul, who was talking with drivers Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon listening in, somewhat dodged the question.
He added: "Let's be honest here, I don't want to expand too much on that in front of Daniel. As Daniel has said, we have a mission, we are on a mission. We have some frustration with last year, how we did, and I really believe that we can do better this year.
"We certainly have a car that should allow us to do better. That is the focus on here and now.
"What I can say is, Daniel is a great driver and a great personality, and that will be the profile for anyone who comes next, but right now, we're focussing on what we need to do."
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