'Took that personally': F1 doco hints at Daniel Ricciardo feud

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Daniel Ricciardo's exit from Renault in 2020 will reportedly be focused on in the Netflix F1 docu-series Drive to Survive. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo's exit from Renault in 2020 will reportedly be focused on in the Netflix F1 docu-series Drive to Survive. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)

The third season of Netflix's popular Drive to Survive series, which is set to launch on Friday night, could shed some light on the tension Daniel Ricciardo's switch from Renault to McLaren for the 2021 season.

Ricciardo scored two podiums for Renault in 2020, his first since 2018 and Renault's first since rejoining F1 in 2016 - but his decision to change teams before even one lap had been raced last year caused some tension in the garage of the French manufacturer.

'TERRIBLE NEWS': Motorsport rocked by tragic death of legendary Sabine Schmitz, 51

WILD: 'Never-before-seen' chaos unfolds at F1 testing

The fifth episode of the series will reportedly cover the dynamic between Ricciardo and enigmatic Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul, which became somewhat frosty in the wake of the Aussie's defection.

Though the pair managed to find a way to work together for a productive season, it was clear not all was well between the two in the immediate aftermath.

“We need to be in a position to be fighting for wins and championships, and Daniel has put a stop to that,” Abiteboul mutters at the top of the episode in question, as Ricciardo prepared to race for a season knowing he would soon be suiting up for a key rival.

Abiteboul, who has since left his role as team principal as Renault rebranded to Alpine for the 2021 season, can be a notoriously frosty character - as seen with his interactions with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner in previous seasons. 

Horner, no stranger to stirring the pot himself, also weighs in considering Ricciardo's previous defection from Red Bull to Renault, which was announced mid-season in 2018.

It’s like being dumped like a girlfriend but she hasn’t moved out of the house,” Horner says. 

“Must be an odd dynamic for Cyril, knowing for whole season that Daniel is going to his biggest rival. Cyril no doubt took that very personally.” 

In another scene, Horner asks Ricciardo is Cyril has started talking to him yet.

The launch of the new season of the popular series comes as the F1 prepares for the first race of the season in Bahrain on March 29.

Schumacher follows his dad to the letter

The letters MSC on a Formula One timing screen once charted the dominance of seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher but this season they denote the presence on track of his son Mick.

The Ferrari great first took the abbreviation to set himself apart from younger brother Ralf on screens that display the first three letters of a surname, but Mick has his own justification.

After winning the 2020 Formula Two title accompanied with the letters SCH, the third Schumacher to enter the world's most prestigious racing category asked Formula One - now headed by ex-Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali - to make a change.

Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will form an all-rookie driver line-up for Haas this F1 season. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)
Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will form an all-rookie driver line-up for Haas this F1 season. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)

"I wanted that MSC," the 21-year-old Haas driver told reporters during pre-season testing in Bahrain before his F1 race debut there on March 28.

"It's an emotional bond I have to it.

"I think it's quite nice for everybody watching the timing screens and seeing MSC back on the screens as well.

"I think there's a positive to it."

For him, taking the Schumacher name back to the starting grid is a source of pride more than pressure.

"I'm very happy to carry that surname... and I'm very proud of it," the Swiss-born German said at the launch of his Haas team's new Ferrari-powered car.

"It's like a boost for me and it gives me motivation every single day."

With AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.