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"Negative" feelings over Ricciardo's Renault exit now in the past - Abiteboul

"Negative" feelings over Ricciardo's Renault exit now in the past - Abiteboul

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"Negative" feelings over Ricciardo's Renault exit now in the past - Abiteboul

"Negative" feelings over Ricciardo's Renault exit now in the past - Abiteboul

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has conceded there is now no lingering animosity towards Daniel Ricciardo over his decision to join McLaren.

Abiteboul was left far from enamoured when Ricciardo revealed before the start of the season he would be leaving Renault at the end of this year.

It is a move that is now being questioned given the respective form of both teams, with Ricciardo in particular scoring more points than any other driver over the last five races with the exception of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Asked whether there was satisfaction with the current run of results with Ricciardo to prove to him what the team is capable of, Abiteboul replied: "I think so. I think it’s very important to the team, to Daniel, to myself I guess also.

"I know we’ve been questioned about this decision of him joining us, and also his decision of joining the team. So in both directions, really.

"I think it was very important for everyone to put the commentators at bay and show why it made sense at the time.

"Yes, it was disappointing last year. You could argue that it was one year too early, but there are not that many opportunities to have a driver like Daniel who’s available on the market.

"I still believe that it was the right thing to do at the time. The team wouldn’t be what it is today without Daniel.

"Maybe thanks also to the year we had together last year, which was indeed a very painful year which has pushed all of us, probably starting with myself, to take the measures that we’ve taken.

"So now we are finding ourselves in a much better position for this year and for next year, with Daniel capable of doing this type of thing. I think it's a statement."

Ricciardo's genuine commitment to Renault's cause this season, that he has not simply strolled through the year and collected his salary, has particularly impressed Abiteboul, negating earlier criticism of the move to McLaren.

"I know our communication was a bit negative when we found out he would not stay with the team at the time," said Abiteboul.

"But I think that it’s precisely because it was an honest, emotional, unfiltered communication at the time, and now Daniel is also being unfiltered and genuine in what he’s doing for the team."

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