Cyril Abiteboul believes Renault's new pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg will be arguably the strongest in Formula One this year. The team pulled off a big coup by luring Ricciardo on a two-year deal after he opted to quit Red Bull.
Managing director Abiteboul thinks the Australian driver and Hulkenberg can take Renault to another level in the new R.S.19, which was launched on Tuesday.
He said: "The added momentum of the Daniel-Nico partnership brings confidence to the team this season. I believe we have one of the strongest – if not the strongest – driver line-up on the grid. Daniel brings proven race winning experience and knowledge of a top team, while Nico is hungry. He's hugely underrated – he's quick, determined and a team motivator.
"Individually they are very strong and I feel the two will complement each other extremely perfectly. The energy they have brought to the team is very tangible and I hope we can give them a car to show their considerable talent."
Ricciardo is relishing a new challenge after five seasons with Red Bull.
He said: "Renault has a massive history in motorsport, so to be part of the next step of their Formula 1 journey is an exciting challenge. I'm here to do a job on track and drive as fast as possible, but I would like to bring the team energy. I want to put a spring in everyone's step because that's part of my job and also my character.
"I aim to be able to get the team to work that extra bit harder, put in more effort and rally everyone together. I'd like to be a catalyst for positive energy."