He’s arrived at Renault as the star driver who can possibly take the team to the next level, but Daniel Ricciardo won’t sell team mate Nico Hulkenberg short because of his track record.
A multiple title winner in motorsport’s junior categories, Hulkenberg’s eight seasons of Formula 1 have failed to bring the German a single podium finish.
With 156 Grands Prix starts to his name, it’s an unwanted record for the 31-year-old Renault driver.
But Ricciardo knows the stats are unwarranted and not a true reflection of his team mate’s solid talent.
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To help his transition from a front-running squad such as Red Bull to a team still in development, the Aussie is holding on to the good memories of the past, those that validated him as a top contender in the sport.
“I’ll certainly take a lot of the highs with me and take them with me as confidence moving to Renault,” Ricciardo told Motorsport.com.
“And I’ll need that as well because of Nico. I think that everyone who knows F1 knows his caliber.
“From the outside, you can think that he’s done 200 races or whatever and never had a podium, but we all know he isn’t that level of driver.
“So I know I’ll need to bring all of this, not only to beat him, but also to help fast-track the team to progress.”