Daniel Ricciardo has caused a stir in the Formula One world following his move to Renault for the 2019 campaign. The Australian’s contract with Red Bull comes to an end at the culmination of the current term, and he was a sought property due to his performances on the track.
The 30-year-old has been a relatively consistent performer since his moved to the Austria-based outfit four years ago bar the 2015 campaign when he struggled for success. However, despite his pedigree, Ricciardo has failed to close the gap to Mercedes at the top of the standings, resulting in his departure. Lewis Hamilton has reigned supreme, leaving the rest of the drivers in the sport in his wake.
Hamilton looking to strengthen stranglehold
It has been the case since 2014 and appears to be once again as the Brit has taken control of the Drivers’ Championship. Hamilton is 24 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second place and 95 points ahead of Ricciardo down in fifth. As a result, Hamilton is the overwhelming favourite in the betting odds to lift the crown for the second season on the bounce and the fourth time in five years.
However, stranger things have happened and reliability issues have been a problem for Hamilton’s Mercedes at times this season. The problem for Ricciardo is that the 95-point difference is a huge margin to overhaul and there are three other drivers ahead of him that are in a much stronger position to strike. Ricciardo’s odds come in at 250/1 amongst the leading bookmakers, which could be worth a look among the best betting offers in Australia from bookies like Unibet and Betstar. The Australian faces a huge challenge to achieve the feat after four retirements have knocked him off the pace.
Vehicle reliability key to success
Reliability has been one of the major problems with Red Bulls since Ricciardo’s arrival. He and Max Verstappen have been plagued with mechanical issues over the past two seasons. Ricciardo was forced out of six races in the 2017 term, ruining what could have been a potential challenge, although he managed to record only one win during the season. The issues have not stopped in the current campaign, costing the 30-year-old at least 40 points. That sort of margin would have allowed him to at least remain competitive in the second half of the season.
In the one campaign when Ricciardo was largely unaffected by mechanical issues, he finished third in the Drivers’ Championship behind Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The talent is there behind the wheel, but it has not been matched by his team. Ricciardo’s move to Renault may have been caused by frustration due to his inability to compete for the crown. Hamilton took the gamble of leaving McClaren to join Mercedes and was forced to suffer through one year of struggle before changes in regulations allow him to thrive with his new team.
Ricciardo may be thinking along the same lines, although there is no guarantee of success, with Renault’s last champion being Fernando Alonso in 2006. It’s a risk from the Australian even though he has not enjoyed the triumphs that he would have expected after joining Red Bull in 2014.