Ocon brings "new energy" to Renault - Abiteboul

Adam Cooper
Ocon brings

Renault Formula 1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul says Esteban Ocon will bring a "new energy" to the Enstone team in 2020.

The Frenchman joins Daniel Ricciardo in place of Nico Hulkenberg this season, after spending last year on the sidelines as a Mercedes simulator driver when his original deal to join Renault fell through.

Ocon, who last raced with Racing Point/Force India in 2018, began his F1 career as a Renault young driver.

"It's another dynamic," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"He will push us in a different way, a new energy, a new aggression; in my opinion a fully positive one, coming also with a different set of experiences having worked with Mercedes.

"So it's good, but at the end of the day we can do lots of things with drivers, but what needs to be better is obviously the racing car."

Abiteboul contrasted Ocon's impact with that of his team-mate Ricciardo, who moved from Red Bull to Renault last year.

The Australian's decision to abandon a winning car raised expectations, though inevitably it was regarded as a step backwards when he was not able to come close to the sort of results he was used to.

Ocon brings

Abiteboul is confident Ocon will have upward momentum and achieve better results than he did at his previous team.

"I think it's slightly different," Abiteboul added.

"He's still in the construction phase. First, he's coming back to racing, which is good news.

"Hopefully he will have a better car than the one he had last time he drove, so it's a positive dynamic for us when a lot of people attribute our bad 2019 season to the decision with Daniel, and his season with us, as more of a negative dynamic.

"I can see more positive things spinning out of Esteban. it's not that Daniel was negative, because I praise what Daniel has pushed the team to do.

"But he put pressure on the team with the expectations he created in the media sphere by joining the team.

"It's what we wanted, but he create a huge amount of expectation, way above what we promised.

"And by doing that it has led to a reaction from the team when we saw we were not at the required level."

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