'Rushed decision': Renault's angry response to Daniel Ricciardo exit

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter
Daniel Ricciardo (pictured left) and Renault Sport F1 and Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul (pictured right). (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo’s sudden decision to switch to McLaren for the 2021 decision has left Renault less than impressed over how other teams acted during the process.

Australian driver Ricciardo will leave Renault and race for McLaren in 2021 and beyond.

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The 30-year-old, winner of seven races for Red Bull, will partner British driver Norris and replaces Spaniard Carlos Sainz who will join Ferrari as four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel's replacement.

But Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said the manner in which Ricciardo was pressured to join McLaren doesn’t sit well with him.

“I’m a bit surprised about the activism of two particular F1 teams, who have pushed Daniel to sort of rush the decision. We decided not to bend over this timing and to stick to our plan,” he told Motorsport.com.

“If we had had a better car last year, probably you wouldn’t be asking me this question.

“We know that if we have a better car we’ll be able to attract any driver in the future. That’s been our priority.”

Renault's boss was less than impressed after claiming two F1 teams put pressure on Daniel Ricciardo to make a choice and leave for McLaren. (Getty Images)

Ricciardo's move to McLaren has opened the door for two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso to return to Renault.

Alonso has admitted a return to the elite series could be an option for him from 2021.

"My next challenge will be at the top level of motorsport, be that Formula 1, endurance racing or IndyCar," Spanish media quoted him telling university students by video link on Monday.

Stunning plans for Ricciardo Supercars switch

McLaren boss Zak Brown has made the stunning admission that he’s open to Ricciardo and Lando Norris competing at the Bathurst 1000.

Brown is part-owner of Walkinshaw Andretti United, who had a wildcard entry with IndyCar drivers Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe in the 2019 Bathurst 1000.

And the McLaren chief executive says he’d “love to see” something similar with Ricciardo and Norris.