McLaren switch ‘a risk’ for Ricciardo – Salo

With McLaren Ricciardo gets the powerful Mercedes engine
With McLaren Ricciardo gets the powerful Mercedes engine

(GMM) Jumping ship to McLaren is "a risk" for Daniel Ricciardo.

That is the view of former F1 driver Mika Salo, after Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul slammed Australian Ricciardo for not renewing his contract with the works team.

"In our sport, and particularly within the current extraordinary situation, reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team," the Frenchman said in the short statement confirming Ricciardo's departure.

Former Red Bull driver Ricciardo, 30, joined Renault after receiving a lucrative offer for 2019 and 2020. Now, he is switching allegiances for 2021.

"It's quite a risk for Ricciardo, but a lottery win for McLaren," Salo told the Finnish broadcaster MTV.

"They get an experienced driver who brings information from Red Bull and Renault. McLaren is an improving team that could be in good shape next year.

"They've been in the swamp for a long time, but they are getting a new engine and I think the team will continue to improve."

Salo also thinks Lando Norris is a better teammate for Ricciardo than Esteban Ocon.

"They will definitely have fun, and when it's fun, things move forward," he said.