Ricciardo back in ‘difficult area’ after ‘tricky’ Renault upgrades
Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he is “suspicious” of his Renault’s new set-up after recent upgrades have resulted in a downturn in performance ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Renault have had a bumpy ride this year after their pre-season bravado about closing the gap on Red Bull having finished ‘best of the rest’ in 2018.
However, they have been gazumped to that honour this so far this season by McLaren, who also use Renault engines.
Since a best return of sixth and seventh in Canada, Renault have been shown up by not only Renault, but also Alfa Romeo, who also saw both cars finished ahead of Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg in Austria.
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“We struggled all weekend,” he said after the race. “Nico and I felt like we were not quite there with the set-up… we never really looked like a Q3 car from the start.
“I feel like there is maybe something more fundamental with the car that we have not got on top of yet because we have changed a lot and always ended up with the same outcome.”
Renault brought in fresh upgrades for their home race in France and while two post-race penalties stripped Ricciardo of any points, they seems to work as the Australian maintained his run of appearances in Q3.
They brought some minor upgrades again for Austria but neither driver made it to Q3 and ended up in P12 and P13, never really in any contention for the points.
“At the moment there is no concern that what we brought there is hurting us,” said Ricciardo.
“I will say we did expect a bit more from these upgrades in terms of lap time translation. And that has not really shown.
“It is tough because it was not great and it was quite frustrating in the car, but also just because it is the first time, we haven’t been in Q3 for a while.
“We have to be constructive and the most important thing is to try to really understand why, as opposed to just throw it away and say that ‘this track does not suit us’.”
Daniel Ricciardo ended his run of Q3 appearances in Austria.Source:Getty Images
Ricciardo added that he feels the problems with the RS19 lie in slower corners and that he has found it “tricky” and that the team are back in the “difficult area” they were in at the start of the season.
“We struggled a lot so far this weekend with the low-speed corners – front tyres locking on braking, and just the lack of feeling on the front of the car,” he said.
“So that has been quite tricky, and something that we got a lot better since the start of the year, especially for me.
“But it feels like we are back in that difficult area. We changed a few things to try and address it. But it didn’t really help, so that is why I am a little bit suspicious or curious if there is something maybe we are missing on the car.
“The guys checked the set-up and everything – but it didn’t really feel like it was adapting much to changes. I would say that the characteristics were slightly different so far this weekend. A tough one to know right now.”
Originally published asRicciardo back in ‘difficult area’
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