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Ricciardo's 'infectious enthusiasm' and smile will be missed - Renault

Ricciardo's 'infectious enthusiasm' and smile will be missed - Renault

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Ricciardo's 'infectious enthusiasm' and smile will be missed - Renault

Ricciardo's 'infectious enthusiasm' and smile will be missed - Renault

Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski has revealed the extent to which Daniel Ricciardo will be missed when he joins McLaren next season.

Ricciardo dropped a bombshell on Renault before the campaign started in July when he announced he would be leaving the French manufacturer for one its main midfield rivals.

That led to what team principal Cyril Abiteboul recently conceded were "negative" statements from within the team about his exit, only for the Australian to respond with a string of fine performances that has included two podiums.

With the feelings now starting to lean towards sadness that Ricciardo will be leaving, Budkowski said: "He’s at the top of his form, he’s driving exceptionally well and that shows in the team results but also in his personal results so of course we will miss him.

"But we will also miss the character. He’s a smiley, engaging character and it is a pleasure to work with him. Daniel walks in the room and suddenly the mood in the room picks up because his smile and his enthusiasm is infectious."

Given Ricciardo's feedback over the past two years, notably this season, it has at least resulted in Renault knowing it has developed a strong car that is currently fighting for third in the constructors' championship, and which should continue to be the case when Fernando Alonso returns next season.

Explaining the trigger point when the potential was unlocked in the RS20 that has allowed Ricciardo to reel in the points, Budkowski added: "I think it’s a combination.

"I think the car is clearly a better car than we had last year. We addressed some of the major weaknesses we had on last year’s car.

"We’ve made good progress during the season, we've made good upgrades and that’s obviously pushed us forward in the pecking order.

"But we’ve also understood the car better, and I wouldn’t call it a breakthrough, but it was progressive learning and understanding of the car.

"In parallel, you understand the car better and you improve it, and when all these things come together you start to perform better.

"We’re in such a tight group, the differences are so small in the midfield cars that by being in the front of the group, you’re taking the opportunities such as podiums, as we’ve seen."

Before you go...

McLaren drivers sing the praises of "down-to-earth" boss Seidl

2016 title defeat to Rosberg "annoyed" Hamilton - Wolff

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