Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Bahrain International Circuit

Ricciardo still not fully comfortable in Renault after Bahrain test

2019 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo says he still has progress to make in adjusting to his Renault following last week’s test in Bahrain.

Last year’s Chinese Grand Prix winner admitted he is not fully comfortable in his new car after joining the team from Red Bull.

“I’m certainly getting there in terms of extracting the maximum and getting more comfortable,” he said. “These things do take time, but it’s good to iron out these details.”

Ricciardo, who retired while running tenth in Bahrain and is yet to score a point this year, did one of the team’s two days of running in last week’s test as he continues to acclimatise in the RS19.

“We’ll get there soon and sure enough and I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction. We showed signs of that over the race weekend, going from a struggle on Friday, followed by an improvement on Saturday to being in and amongst it on Sunday.

“The car clearly has pace, but for me, it’s about finding all of it. I feel there’s a lot more to come.”

Following Renault’s double retirement in Bahrain team principal Cyril Abiteboul said they will approach this weekend’s race cautiously.

“Our overall competitiveness is good enough for our drivers to be racing in the top 10 and closer to the top teams than last year,” he said. “But we have suffered from reliability issues. We move onto China with caution, but also with a resolution to really get the season going.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Ricciardo still not fully comfortable in Renault after Bahrain test”

  1. I had hoped for a much better start to Dannys season but let’s wait and see. Perhaps once he feels totally comfortable with the car/team he will get back on form.

    1. digitalrurouni
      9th April 2019, 13:12

      Honestly this is about where I expected Danny to be in the Renault. If you ask me it was a terrible move going to Renault. I still wish him the best of luck and I for one am most curious to see who ends up on top – Hulk vs Ric this year. Granted it’s a lot of adapting for Ric to do coming to a new team, getting grips with the car etc.

      1. Yeah the Honda engine was a gamble though, and their recent track record didn’t have them pegged as an immediate contender when he signed.

  2. I’m yet to feel comfortable in a Renault, so I know the feeling, hang in there Ric

    1. Haha this is great.

    2. Once had to spend 2 weeks with a rental Captur – between the awful positioning and ergonomics of the cabin (cruise control down by the handbrake – OK Renault, i’ll take my eyes off the road just as i’m up to danger speed…), utterly stupid gear ratios that had you either screaming at the red line or struggling not to stall at any usable/common speeds, complete lack of front end communication and enough body roll in the bends to make a roller-coaster jealous, I was pretty put off ever considering a Renault again.

      But then, the Megane RS is very pretty…

      1. they even gave you the worst Renault of them all

        1. I don’t have much love for the Renaults I rent for work but I have to say the capture is the worst offender

          1. Not even the spell check likes them @tango

          2. So true @johnmilk, so true :D

  3. I’m sure he will get much better very soon. The problem seems to me is related with tyre usage of the two different team.

  4. He needs Newey, he could brake so late because of RBRs aerodynamic capabilities, I think.

  5. With caution sounds to me like they’re planning to turn the engine down this weekend.

    I hope they can get the result they were heading for last race.

    1. @skipgamer I don’t think they can afford to run a conservative setup, they have made gains but they are still behind as is their chassis / aero.
      I think they will need to run at or near max power to keep in front of HAAS and stay with McLaren.
      But of course they have to finish…fingers crossed.

  6. It was always going to be difficult for Ricciardo to “step down” into the Renault. He’ll get there though, he is good enough to get the job done.

    I think us fans underestimate just how different the cars are from team to team, so these transitions are tougher than we give the drivers credit for. Quite a few of the drivers who changed teams this season are struggling relative to their teammates, the standout exception to this being Charles Leclerc.

    1. Was Max Verstappen not switched in 2016 and won the GP? Keeping Daniel very honest straight away.

      Charles isn’t the only exception.

      I was expecting Daniel on game from the start on as Renault uses the same engine as he used before (C-Spec) while Hulk was using the B-Spec last year.

      1. Yes Max was gifted a win immediately, you’re right.

        1. To be Fair he won it because he hadn’t adjust problems….

          1. TBF he won it because he was in the second fastest car at that GP and the two fastest cars took each other off the track, while he was on the better strategy and the second of the second fastest cars on the circuit was on a different less effective strategy.

          2. To be fair, you’re a big max fan :-))

            1) He was at least 4 tenths off the pace. I’d reckon that’s more than RIC is having now.
            2) He and charles were/are going up, not down. If you’d wanna compare charles with someone, you should choose GAS. Also, both max and charles (and GAS) had all tested extensively, much more than RIC (was allowed), and the former three all graduated in a familiar environment, going from junior team to the senior.
            3) Who says LEC is already at his 100% anyway?
            4) It only makes sense to assume a new driver isn’t fully at his peak in the first two races in a new environment. To mention one thing that remained the same (engine manufacturer), but ignoring everything else, environment, people and rest of the car which has much more to do with the feeling of the car, is biased to say the least. Also, the enigine isn’t even the same. This one is a new one, more powerful.

  7. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    9th April 2019, 12:24

    His driving style was based on a top-three car and now he’s driving one that is midfield at best, and possibly not even the class of that group. Whatever way you want to look at it, taking this car was a large step down from what he had. He’s a decent driver though, he’ll get performance out of it eventually but it’ll take time and probably a lot more time than either he or Renault would like.

    Sure there’s more to come from the car but it’ll never handle like the Red Bull he used to have and as such his driving probably won’t be what it was.

    1. Yeah his driving style wasn’t going to change, but when the Renault has less aero and grip he will have too.

      Its no different to when he went to RBR in 2014 and smashed Seb. Dan was used to the STR but Seb had a great car in 2013 but when the 2014 didn’t handle great he struggled.

      Dan will come good, but maybe a harder up road than he may of thought?

  8. I’m carrying quite a bit of entry speed at the moment, but killing everything on the exit,” he said.

    “I’m probably used to carrying a lot of entry speed. In a way, part of it could be overdriving with the current grip I’ve got.

    “I made some comments (in Bahrain about) the way the car responded, and I was a bit surprised, but he (Nico Hulkenberg) said that is just normal, that is how this car is.

    “So I’m trying to learn from his experience

    I really hope they are all over this for a fix, pronto, for both of them, but I have a sinking feeling this is a ridiculous mehh thats the way it is, just drive around it. It reads as if it’s been there for sometime and nobody has (successfully) addressed it, and we’ll get to it at some stage. One of my pet hates when employees, employers,, contractors etc. see a problem ” everyday” and just accept it as “well that’s the way it is”.

  9. Torro Rosso DR was bang average.

    Moved to Red Bull and he was a sensation, put the most dominant driver of the last 4 years firmly in the shade.

    Renault, he looks like the Torro Rosso Danny again.

    My conclusion – the Red Bull just fit him like a glove. It happens, sometimes you just have a certain feel with a piece of equipment you can’t replicate elsewhere.

    I thought the Renault move was an awful idea and these stories and his performances are doing nothing to change my mind on that.

    1. His toro rossos werent great, it was much more difficult to look good when the main team wins 13 races whereas today Rbr isnt that much better than str.

      And he did look good for most of the time back in ’13. In ’12 he wasnt impressive at all.

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