Renault unsure about Ricciardo's future but he still eyes a yellow shoey

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Daniel Ricciardo may still want success at Renault but his bosses are less sure about his future post-2020.

The Australian is entering the second of his initial two-year deal at the French manufacturer and already speculation has linked him to a McLaren switch or even replacing Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari for 2021.

However, speaking at Renault's 'season opener' this week in Paris, the 30-year-old claims he is still focused on helping the team back to the front of the grid.

“I don’t have anything written down with Renault beyond this year but whatever may or may not come in the next few months, or over the course of the year, I’m 100% committed to still making this work with Renault,” he stated.

“I haven’t thought about scenarios yet of being somewhere else.

"I do feel like last year was a bit of an unknown, but this year there is much more in place to get this thing on the right track and to kind of tick some of the boxes that I thought we would tick when I signed the contract.

“I do believe there is a shoey in here somewhere in a yellow car," Ricciardo argued. "I do believe that, so yeah I’m certainly all in, to make those things come to fruition, you know.

“For me personally as well I do want it to work, I do want this year to be successful. So regardless of what was to happen you know, I could hold my chin high and be like you know, we really gave this an awesome crack and ideally, the crack continues.”

In the mind of Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul, however, a decision on Ricciardo's future could take some time.

“I think the main difficulty will be timing, I guess, for obvious reasons,” he said.

“You want to have a quick decision regarding his future, but I think what we also need is a little bit of time to see how we are developing as a team and how we are working together and what we are capable of delivering because, let’s be honest, together we failed to deliver the expected results last year.

“So hopefully we can do better, but the first thing I think he will want is to see if we are capable of providing him with a better car because frankly if you’re not capable of doing that this year, why would we next year? And I completely understand that.

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The most important factor in Ricciardo's decision will be Renault's potential in 2021, and team advisor Alain Prost believes that's the only thing that could convince him to stay.

“For sure this year, we have to say the truth: we don’t have a high expectation about this year, so it’s a shame for Daniel, the second year with not a lot that is going to be better," the four-time world champion claimed.

“I think it’s going to be more his perception of what we could do for 2021, and also being realistic about the offers he is going to have from other teams.

“He will decide by himself but we will talk very soon. We don’t have everything in our hands, that’s for sure.”