Renault insists its ambitions and strategy will “remain unchanged” following Daniel Ricciardo’s departure to join Formula 1 rivals McLaren in 2021.

On Thursday morning McLaren announced the signing of Ricciardo on a “multi-year agreement” to partner Lando Norris from the 2021 season, with Carlos Sainz leaving the Woking outfit to replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.

Ricciardo will quit Renault upon the expiry of his initial two-year deal at the end of the year, having joined the French manufacturer for 2019 following his Red Bull exit.

Renault quickly responded to the news with a short team statement which read: “Within the unprecedented context of the 2020 season, discussions held with Daniel Ricciardo concerning a renewal of his contract beyond the end of 2020 have not been successful.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul pointed to Ricciardo's lack of loyalty, adding: “In our sport, and particularly within the current extraordinary situation, reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team.

“I am confident that the 2020 season will allow us to accomplish even more together. Our ambitions and the strategy of Renault DP World F1 Team remain unchanged.”

The Australian was left unsettled by a disappointing maiden campaign at Renault, in which the Enstone squad slipped behind McLaren to fifth place in the constructors’ championship.

Despite his impending departure, Ricciardo has vowed to finish his tenure with Renault on a high note during the 2020 season which has is currently suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am so grateful for my time with Renault and the way I was accepted into the team,” Ricciardo said. 

“But we aren’t done and I can’t wait to get back on the grid this year. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong.”

 

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