Renault: Ricciardo hiring sensible - not done with 'stupid money'

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Despite not being a winning team yet, Renault paid big bucks to secure the services of Daniel Ricciardo, but team boss Cyril Abiteboul believes the investment offers good value for money.

Ricciardo's decision last summer to leave Red Bull and move to Renault stunned the F1 paddock, but conversely, many were also surprised that the French outfit allowed itself such a big expenditure at its current stage of development.

Abiteboul defended Renault's decision however, arguing that it has precisely reached a point in its growth where it can afford to boost its resources and pay a hefty retainer for a top tier driver.

"There is a considerable financial commitment from Renault," Abiteboul told Motorsport.

"But it is not a question of whether Renault can afford it: it can definitely afford it as our turnover is 40 times the turnover of Red Bull. There is no question mark about that.

"The question mark is about the value. Does it make sense to invest that type of money in a driver at the level of Daniel at this point of our journey, with the car that we have and the other expense that we must do? We believe so.

"There has been some discussion about that. Would we be better off investing in to the car or the drivers?

"I think we have reached a point where we can invest in both reasonably."


Renault is still attempting to bridge the gap with Formula 1's powerful front-running Mercedes-Ferrari-Red Bull trio.

Investments are still ongoing at Enstone and at Viryt-Châtillon, but Abiteboul insists that Renault's commitment to Ricciardo will not be to the detriment of any other of the team's department.

"I would also like to say that the commercial arrangement with Daniel is extremely sensible and nowhere near what can exist elsewhere in F1," added the Frenchman.

"It is obviously commensurate to the level of his skills and talent, and what he can bring to the team. But it is not a stupid amount of money.

"So I think it has all been done in a sensible way, and it is not in a way that will be detrimental to the team who can keep on spending on the development of the car and the engine."

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