Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul says capturing the signature of Daniel Ricciardo is evidence of his team’s rapid rise in Formula 1 and has set high targets ahead of the arrival of the Australian driver.

Ricciardo shocked F1 by confirming he will leave Red Bull at the end of the this season to join Renault having signed a two-year deal with the French manufacturer.

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The Renault team boss is naturally thrilled to secure the seven-time F1 race winner’s services and feels he can help speed up the French manufacturer’s planned progress climbing the F1 ranks.

Renault returned to F1 as a fully-fledged manufacturer in 2016 and set out a long-term goal of battling for world championships. Last year Renault climbed to sixth place in the F1 world constructors’ standings and currently sits fourth in the teams’ championship heading into the summer break.

“Daniel’s signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport,” Abiteboul said. “It is also a recognition of the work accomplished over the past two and a half seasons. Daniel’s undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team.”

Given the high-profile signing, Abiteboul has underlined the need to give Ricciardo a front-running package in 2019.

“We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best-car possible,” he said. “We welcome him to our growing team in 2019 with a great deal of pride, but also humility.”

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