Daniel Ricciardo is McLaren-bound next season, but leaving a Renault team which is undergoing a resurgence on and off the track. He and team principal Cyril Abiteboul tell Stuart Codling and Ben Anderson what’s been happening behind the scenes
Renault’s stuttering progress back towards the front of the grid has been a persistent thread within Formula 1’s tangled narratives since the company returned as a manufacturer in 2016. It’s taken tentative steps up the order only to slip back again – particularly whenever it approaches that unbridgeable chasm which has existed between F1’s top three teams and the gaggle of midfielders seemingly doomed to hope, at best, for fourth.
Sceptics have, rightly, asked questions: was Renault too optimistic in expecting to return to winning ways within a five-year timespan? In thinking it could do so while spending less than the top three? In persisting with engine and chassis manufacturing operations in different countries?
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