F1 commentator's brutal swipe at 'clown' Daniel Ricciardo

Formula One commentator Olav Mol has hit Daniel Ricciardo with a brutal truth bomb.

The Dutchman has taken aim at the Aussie after a debut season to forget at Renault.

Ricciardo finished ninth in the drivers' standings after making a sensational switch from Red Bull, however, things have not gone to plan for the 30-year-old.

The Australian driver failed to register a podium finish in 2019, with his best result being a fourth placed finish at the Italian Grand Prix.

Renowned for being one of the most charismatic drivers on the circuit and never shy of cracking a joke, it's Ricciardo's personality that has drawn the ire of Mol.

“Wanting to be the clown of the paddock is not good enough,” Mol told Dutch publication Formule 1. “He has not improved.

Daniel Ricciardo's performances have come under fire from Dutch commentator Olav Mol. Pic: Getty

“Ricciardo is incredibly nice, but on the job? In Brazil (where Ricciardo started 11th and finished sixth) he came from the back to the front, otherwise I have not seen enough ‘real Ricciardo moments’. And I have not seen him make Renault better.

“Other than his breakthrough in the Brazilian GP, he hasn’t shown much throughout the season.

“He should be less cheerful and hit the table with his fists more often.”

Results giving Renault boss 'more grey hair'

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul concedes his part-Latin temperament has resulted in him struggling to come to terms “with the fact we are losing every weekend”.

With “more grey hair”, a by-product of four tough years since the French manufacturer returned as a constructor at the start of the 2016 season, a Renault driver has yet to step on the podium – never mind even win a race.

This is despite the vast investment made “in people, factories, facilities, everything to be an improvement”, according to Abiteboul.

The 42-year-old claims that after Renault bought out Lotus at the end of 2015, the gap between the team at that stage and the leading teams was “underestimated”, as was “the pace needed to keep on investing”.

Renault can at least claim to be a top team in terms of personnel and facilities, on par with the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari. It’s just that results on the track – where a team is ultimately measured – have been found to be wanting.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul has been left frustrated by Renault's progress. Pic: Getty

Accountability in that respect is high, and Abiteboul can feel the pressure bearing down on his shoulders. Especially as Renault slipped from fourth-place in the constructors' championship last season to fifth this year.

“Moving from P9 (in 2016) to P4 was fantastic, but maybe to a certain extent, it flattered us,” assessed Abiteboul, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sport.

“The good performance of last year hid some intrinsic weaknesses that we only witnessed this year with a great driver [hiring Daniel Ricciardo], and with all the pressure that comes in having such a driver.

“Daniel has been great at showing the remaining weaknesses we had, and that's put us in a situation where we've nowhere to hide, and therefore to make the changes that needed to be done.

“It's something we only corrected late this year when we saw a limitation in our reliability to develop the car, to put performance on it, and also to come up with a reliable engine, even though we made a very decent step with its competitiveness.

“So it's been mixed, although this year has exposed what still needs to be addressed in our package.”

Abiteboul admits he is “not proud of the results”, although adds: “I am proud of the fact that every single time we found a weakness in our team, we didn't stand still.

Ricciardo's Renault season has been largely underwhelming. Pic: Getty

“Instead, we took action on the reliability of the engine, and on the organisation of the team when we decided to completely restructure the aerodynamic department that was failing to come up with a package that could evolve over the season.

“Overall, I'm proud of what we've done. It's never a linear progression. Sometimes it's about pausing, consolidating your position.

“Yes, we've taken a step back this year, we've had issues. That needs to go away when we project ourselves in the future.” A future which Abiteboul has vowed he will not step away from.

“I'll do that when I win,” insisted Abiteboul. “That's the challenge, a question mark.

“Every single year that goes by, we are getting stronger, even this year. We are stronger this year in P5 than we were last year in P4. I've no doubt about that, and that's what matters.

With Yahoo Sport UK