Ocon arrival creates a 'positive dynamic' at Renault after Ricciardo scrutiny

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Esteban Ocon's arrival at Renault creates a "positive dynamic" after the scrutiny that followed Daniel Ricciardo's move from Red Bull.

The highly-rated Frenchman replaces Nico Hulkenberg for 2020 after spending last year as reserve driver at Mercedes, marking a return to the team where he was a development driver in 2016.

And after having two established veterans of F1 in their cars last year, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul sees Ocon as bringing the exuberance of youth to the Enstone-based squad.

"It's another dynamic," he told Motorsport. "He will push us in a different way, new energy, new aggressivity, in my opinion, a fully positive one, [he is] 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."

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Ocon's return to F1, though notable after making a strong impression during his two years at Force India, has also created a different type of reaction, with Renault not getting the same attention they received when Ricciardo joined 12 months ago.

"I think it's slightly different because he's still in the construction phase [of his career]," Abiteboul claimed. "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 by joining the team," the Renault chief added. "It's what we wanted, but de facto he created 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."

Ocon made his comeback to Renault by driving both days of the end of season test in Abu Dhabi last month, and he's happy with how the settling in process in going.

“The goal at the beginning of January and in December was to do that, even if the team is not so new to me since I already worked here in 2016 and before,” he told L’Equipe. “But the team has grown enormously and everything has changed.

“There are still things that are more difficult to do that take a little more time, but we will continue to work on this. It will be good for Melbourne because there are still six days of testing.”

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