Ricciardo "a way to fast-track" Renault to F1's top tier
Daniel Ricciardo's arrival at Renault will help it "fast-track" its bid to challenge at the front of Formula 1, reckons managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
Renault pulled off a major coup last summer when it lured Ricciardo away from Red Bull, even though it is not expecting to be fighting for wins and the world championship this year.
"Frankly, we are not limited by finance, we are not limited by budget," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. "What is limiting us is time.
"You can only spend based on the size of your organisation. It is like a start-up. When you don't have the revenue yet, you have a cash burn rate, and an F1 organisation is exactly the same.
"You are limited by your ability to spend, which is a factor depending on the size of your company, the number of people releasing some drawings, sending that to production and so on and so forth.
"I think one thing that Daniel should help us is compress that time, because suddenly everyone is more interested in Renault.
"If I talk about the positions we have available, maybe more engineers or more people will be interested in joining us because we have sent that statement. Daniel is a way to fast-track that scarcest resource we have: which is time."
Asked if he felt Ricciardo's arrival had changed Renault's targets of fighting for wins from 2020 only, Abiteboul said: "It will increase the chances to stick to the road map.
"I don't see us suddenly in a position to fight for wins or fight for the championship. That is not what we have told him, and he has been clear about that too.
"Anyone can think what they want about the road map that we have defined, but I think it is already quite aggressive as a road map.
"Anyone who knows enough about F1 appreciates that the gap we have to the top teams will take some time to be absorbed. Daniel has only increased the chances to stick to the road map which is to fight for wins by 2020."
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