Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo: Renault Formula 1 team lacks nothing to Red Bull – F1

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Daniel Ricciardo says he has not seen anything that 2019 employer Renault lacks compared to his previous Formula 1 team Red Bull.

Renault has not won a race since it revived its works F1 project for the 2016 season, while Ricciardo took seven grand prix victories in his five years racing for Red Bull.

He made the shock decision to leave Red Bull for Renault last summer.

“I haven’t walked past anything yet [at the factory] and said: ‘Red Bull had that, you guys needs that,” explained Ricciardo at Renault’s 2019 car launch.

“So it is not anything in particular which I feel we are missing.

“I guess when I drive the car I will know more what the car needs, but I see good things here.”

Renault has made major changes to the facilities at its Enstone base since reacquiring what had been the Lotus team.

“I was here in December and there was a lot of noise and construction going on, and already that is up and finished and going,” Ricciardo added.

“They’ve worked hard over the winter and that is one positive that I’ve seen initially: the work ethic.

“I will be the first to say it: by the end of the season you are ready for a break and have time off.

“But I know there are a lot of people here who didn’t have time off and that is just a sign for me that they are hungry, which is really positive.”

Although Renault – which was fourth in last year’s constructors’ championship – has high hopes of making decent progress with its new RS19, Ricciardo is not expecting it to get among the top three teams this year.

Asked about his realistic ambitions, he replied: “Putting it simply, and it may be boring for you guys to write, it is progress. To keep having progress.

“Since 2016 it is pretty awesome what they have done, so to keep going in that trajectory.

“Saying ‘OK you got fourth last year, you need to get third this year’, it is not as simple because the gap to the top three is pretty big.

“But ideally we just close that gap. Sure, if it does jump us into the top three then all well and good, but it is still a big gap.

“So as long as we make inroads that has to be a pretty successful year.”

He dismissed any suggestion that he would find it hard to stomach being behind Red Bull when the 2019 campaign starts.

“I was aware when I signed the deal here that it was very realistic that come Melbourne, they are going to be in front,” Ricciardo said.

“So I was already accepting that and coming to terms with that as a very high reality.

“Naturally I am going to look at them but I am also going to look at Mercedes and Ferrari as well.

“I am not going to be bitter if [Red Bull] beat us in Melbourne.

“I feel now we are still on a different journey but I don’t want to settle for just fourth forever.”

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