Daniel Ricciardo has insisted he does not feel “awkward” racing hard against his future team McLaren – and is bidding to finish 2020 on a high by helping Renault come out on top in Formula 1’s closest battle.
Renault are currently third in the Constructors’ Championship – which would be their best season result since 2007 – but only one point ahead of midfield rivals McLaren and Racing Point heading into this weekend’s Turkish GP, the first of four races to finish the campaign.
An added intrigue to that fight is the fact their star driver Ricciardo – who has scored the vast majority of those 135 points during one of the best seasons of his F1 career – is leaving for McLaren at the end of 2020.
- Turkish GP: Title permutations, Sky F1 TV times
Ricciardo, however, is adamant he will continue to show “intensity and loyalty” with Renault, speaking to Sky F1 after being asked if there was any awkwardness about trying to get the better of his next team.
“Not at all,” he said. “I looked at the team, and I looked at myself, and I really made a promise to them that I’ll do all I can before the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi [F1 2020’s last race] and there’s no fun and games.
“I think honestly, McLaren watching, and anyone who really cares and who is a real racer over there at McLaren, will appreciate and respect that. I’ll show the right intensity and loyalty and everything I can with Renault until the end, and in my mind that has to be respected and understood.”
Ricciardo, who is fourth in the drivers’ standings and arrives in Istanbul after two podiums in three races, added: “Next year, when the page turns, I’m all in with McLaren – but until then I’m going to keep going at Renault.”
Ricciardo is replacing Carlos Sainz at McLaren, while Renault have signed two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso for 2021.
Early starts: when to watch the Turkish GP
With a three-hour time difference between the UK and Turkey, it’s the earliest start times of the reshaped season this weekend for live coverage on Sky Sports F1 on a weekend Lewis Hamilton could clinch a record-equalling seventh world championship.
7.30am: Welcome to the Weekend LIVE!
8am: Practice One LIVE!
11.45am: Practice Two build-up LIVE!
12pm: Practice Two LIVE!
2.30pm: Story So Far LIVE!
8.45am: Practice Three build-up LIVE!
9am: Practice Three LIVE!
11am: Qualifying build-up LIVE!
12pm: Qualifying LIVE!
8.30am: Grand Prix Sunday LIVE!
10.10am: THE TURKISH GRAND PRIX LIVE!
12pm: Chequered Flag LIVE!
1pm: The Notebook LIVE!
3pm: Turkish GP highlights
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