Renault confident Ocon/Ricciardo pairing can spur progress in 2020

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Renault expects the "fresh energy" from Esteban Ocon alongside Daniel Ricciardo to help spur the team forward in 2020.

The young Frenchman makes his comeback to Formula 1 this season, following a year out after losing his Racing Point seat to Lance Stroll at the end of 2018.

In doing so, Renault now has perhaps one of the most underrated pairings in Ocon and Ricciardo, and while both men will want to get the edge on the other, team boss Cyril Abiteboul hopes they can convert that competitive drive into progress.

“This coming season is revitalised by the arrival of Esteban, who brings with him fresh energy,” he said via Crash.net

“Both he and Daniel are both exceptionally motivated. Esteban returns to a seat after a year out and wants to show he deserves to race in F1. You can see the hunger in his eyes.

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“Daniel has a year of experience with the team and can see its motivation. We need this kind of push.

"F1 needs everyone at the top of their game and having two drivers spurring everyone on is an immense motivation tool for the entire team and a source of pride for the whole of Groupe Renault.”

For Ricciardo, Ocon does present a similar challenge to that he faced alongside Max Verstappen in his final years at Red Bull, but he too is seeing the positive side... for now.

"I am looking forward to working with Esteban – it’s always exciting to come into a season with a new teammate," said the Aussie.

"It’s a chance to work with a new driver and develop that chemistry together and ultimately push each other to be the best we can be.

"I think Esteban will bring a positive dynamic; he’s young and hungry. He missed out a season in Formula 1, so I think he’s going to be very keen to do well."

And of course, partnering one of the great characters in F1 gives Ocon reason to be optimistic.

"He seems like an easy guy to work with and I look forward to teaming up with him," he commented.

"It’s always good to push each other as it brings performance from the car and therefore will hopefully bring the team further up the grid.

"That’s what we’ll try to achieve. We want great results for the team, and we need to bring the best out from each other all while staying within the limits."

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