Renault defends Ocon performance: 'We are talking about Daniel Ricciardo'

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Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has defended the performance of Esteban Ocon, despite the points gap to Daniel Ricciardo.

The Frenchman has scored less than half the current amount of his Australian teammate, who moved up to fourth in the Drivers' Championship after finishing third at the Nurburgring.

Ocon is also yet to beat Ricciardo on a race day when both have finished or outqualify him in the dry, with the soggy Saturday at Styria the only exception.

However, in qualifying, there has rarely been more than a few tenths between them, and, as luck hasn't been on his side with two retirements in the past five races, while Renault has been at their strongest.

“I think he needs to do what he has been doing since a few races ago,” Abiteboul said via RaceFans. "That [the results] have unfortunately not really materialised but for reasons that are not in his direct control

“It can be clear since Monza, it was difficult, [but] there has been a bit of a reset of Esteban, the way that we are all working together, a lot of discussions in order to be bringing the steps."

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Earlier this month, the Renault chief suggested Ocon needed to set "realistic" goals despite the results he might see from Ricciardo.

And that was something he repeated again.

“He needs to be very pragmatic about the situation, which is not a disaster, if you were to remove the points he lost due to lack of reliability he would probably be behind Daniel, by a chunk, but we are talking about Daniel Ricciardo," Abiteboul said.

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“Esteban never had such a strong teammate, he has had good teammates, [Sergio] Perez in particular is strong, but I believe Daniel is stronger.

“I think he needs to be very pragmatic, set himself some realistic targets but also look at his current performance which he should not be ashamed of, and build his confidence.

“He needs to also build his ability to be a bit patient sometimes, like a lot of young drivers he has a bit of impatience that leads him to some mistakes.

“But there is no reason this cannot be fixed, and with the support of the team around him it will be fixed.”