F1 news: Renault chief reveals Daniel Ricciardo expectations after move from Red Bull | F1 | Sport


That is according to Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul, who says the aim is to be a contender in 2020.

Daniel Ricciardo has now linked up with the Enstone-based team having announced the shock move from Red Bull last August.

And next month he will be hoping to make a positive start to life in their famous yellow and black by impressing at the Australian Grand Prix.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are most likely to be vying it out for pole and maximum points in Melbourne.

However, Abiteboul insists Ricciardo is not under pressure to beat the pacesetters and secure the win for Renault.

“I don’t see us suddenly in a position to fight for wins or fight for the championship,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

“That is not what we have told him, and he has been clear about that too.

“Anyone can think what they want about the road map that we have defined, but I think it is already quite aggressive as a road map.

“Anyone who knows enough about F1 appreciates that the gap we have to the top teams will take some time to be absorbed.

“Daniel has only increased the chances to stick to the road map which is to fight for wins by 2020.”

Renault were the best of the rest last season, coming fourth in the F1 constructors’ standings.

But they finished a mammoth 297 points behind Ricciardo’s old team Red Bull, who finished third.

Ricciardo’s new Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg admitted at October’s Paris Motor Show that catching Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will be a tough task.

“Fourth is an improvement over last year,” Hulkenberg said. “We are going in the right direction.

“I arrived last year and I’ve seen the team grow enormously with the investments made by Renault.

“The premises and equipment were improved and there were more people hired and more resources.

“Everything that can be expected from a manufacturer is there.

“Our ambition is always to be at the front, fighting for podiums and victories in a few years, but we are still in the development phase.

“I think we have put in place the structure we can build on in the next few years.”

Ricciardo and Hulkenberg will get their Australian Grand Prix race weekend underway with practice on March 15.

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