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Ex-Renault Boss Knew the “Consequences” of Daniel Ricciardo’s “Selfish” McLaren Move

Anirban Aly Mandal

Ex-Renault Boss Knew the “Consequences” of Daniel Ricciardo’s “Selfish” McLaren Move

It’s been three years since Daniel Ricciardo decided to swap Renault for McLaren. However, even after all these years, Ricciardo’s then-boss, Cyril Abiteboul, has refused to forgive the Honey Badger for what he termed a “selfish” move, as per

While on the Dans La Boîte À Gants podcast, Abiteboul said (as quoted by, “I think it’s a very early move, a bit selfish, because in the end, it will have given the team just one season’s chance, and so it’s true that it’s a decision that I’m taking badly,” while talking about Ricciardo deciding to leave the team at the end of 2020 having joined just a year prior.

What’s more, the ex-Renault boss still takes Ricciardo’s decision very personally. “Of course, because I can see that it’s a personal rejection. I take it completely personally. I accept it. And I can see what the consequences are going to be, too,” he added.

Abiteboul feels that the Australian felt somewhat demoted, given that he was not in a Red Bull anymore. However, the Honey Badger left the Bulls specifically to move out of Max Verstappen’s shadow to become a team leader. But just 2 years into that project with the French team, he jumped ship to McLaren.

Despite some stunning moments, Daniel Ricciardo faced horror at Renault and McLaren

Ricciardo bagged two podiums in his last year with the team. But the podiums at the Eifel GP and the Emilia Romagna GP came as a surprise for the team as well, given their 2019 struggles. Abiteboul explained, “I don’t see it happening either that we [would] have such a good year in 2020, all the same, with podiums and a car that once again, by making a few fewer mistakes, could [have finished] third in the standings.”

However, in 2021, Ricciardo decided to set up shop at Woking. In hindsight, that turned out to be a pretty disastrous 2-year stint with the Papaya team. And Abiteboul is acutely aware of the problem. “Ricciardo always has a timing problem: he left us too early, and he left McLaren too early,” he claims.

The time the 34-year-old spent with the two teams has left a visible scar on the man, too. As Christian Horner explained to, “I think he picked up a lot of bad habits” while talking after Ricciardo made his comeback to the Red Bull family.

Post Edited By:Samriddhi Jaiswal

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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