Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo’s new boss has told the Australian that he needs to develop a “harder skin” and “more patience” if he is to make his first season with his new outfit a successful one.
Ricciardo, who joined the French team from Red Bull in the Formula 1 off-season, made his Renault debut at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday.
He qualified in 12th and was eager to make up as many positions as quickly as possible. However, whilst attempting to overtake Racing Point’s Sergio Perez at the start of the race, he was pushed too close to the grass and lost his front wing after hitting a gutter.
And Renault director Cyril Abiteboul has warned him that his eagerness may cause him issues in the future.
“It’s not that he underestimated it, but as a midfield team we do not operate in the same way as a top team,” he said in an interview with Auto Hebdo, per Planet F1.
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“Maybe he will have to get a harder skin and some more patience at the start.”
Despite the poor start to Ricciardo’s Renault career, Abiteboul is confident that his lead driver can still contribute to a team that will be chasing fourth spot in the Constructors’ Championship this season.
“I am absolutely not panicked. He is an intelligent boy.
“In Bahrain we will have a more traditional circuit with more room at the sides.”
As a result of the damage, Ricciardo was unable to finish, and soon retired in 19th place.
His team-mate Niko Hülkenberg, who has been with the team since 2017, finished up in seventh place in a race that was won by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, who therefore leads the overall championship. Lewis Hamilton came in second, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third.
The next race of the season will take place in Bahrain in a fortnight.