Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Ricciardo says China result shows Renault can lead midfield

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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Renault’s Chinese Grand Prix result shows the team has the pace to head the midfield, Daniel Ricciardo said after finishing today’s race seventh.

Ricciardo followed the Mercedes, Ferraris and Red Bulls home, scoring his first points since he joined Renault from Red Bull this year.

However he spent much of the second half of the race under pressure from Sergio Perez’s Racing Point.

“I was a bit surprised by Perez’s pace in the race,” he admitted. “Ideally we want to stretch the gap to the others but he had a really strong one.

“So I think there’s still certainly some areas we can improve. But generally speaking if we put the weekend together we should be at the front of that group.”

He was the only driver to start the race on used soft tyres and finish the race with a single pit stop. “Considering obviously [in] Bahrain we tried it [and] it didn’t work out for us, I’m happy that we made it work today,” he said.

“It wasn’t easy. Perez was actually really quick, pushed me the whole race. I was trying to manage the gap for a moment but then he was coming so I just had to go.

“Towards the end it was getting a bit tricky but I think he was also suffering so it’s didn’t make it too tense the last few laps which was good.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
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18 comments on “Ricciardo says China result shows Renault can lead midfield”

  1. to me it was much more a measure of having track position. Kimi and perez seemed faster than him. just not enough to go for an overtake.

    Renault has pretty much stalled since the end of 2017. Best of the rest with that budget isn’t a big deal at all.

    1. @edvaldo Indeed. They should already be better with that budget than they were last season, but they indeed seem to have remained pretty much stalled development-wise since the tail-end of 2017.

    2. Agreed. I wonder if it’s more that Ricciardo has finally gotten comfortable with the chassis than Renault has figured something out. At least they only retired one car this race.

      Maybe they could secure an engine supply from Honda to solve their woes 😁

  2. Glad for Danny Ric that he kinda found his mojo back, but I would have expected him to be way clear of Perez and Kimi after a race without incidents or Safety Cars. That is not a great result for them, seems they have slumped lower than last year into the midfield battle. Also, 1 minute behind the leading RedBull doesn’t look good at all, given that the top teams usually develop better throughout the season.

  3. Like fighting and leading the midfield is an achievement for a manufacturer of their size.

    Renault should be comfortably in the chasm that is top 3 and the rest. With their budget and resources I expected them to close the gap a bit to the top 3 but they’ve only gone and seem to go backwards with even more reliability issues.

    Dumping Vasseur was the moment I started to lose faith in the Renault project. If you see what Vasseur did with Sauber, from current Williams to midfield leader with even signing a former WDC in Kimi compared to where they were in 2016 is incredible.

    Renault’s loss is Sauber’s gain.

  4. Wow ! that was massively exciting, the way he made those tyres last, beats the hell out of watching actual racing.

    1. @hohum – LOL, looks like you’ve found a new hobby to replace watching paint dry. ;)

      1. pit to driver
        “manage the tyres
        manage the fuel
        do not race”

  5. Renault may be able to lead the midfield, but I’ll hold my hand up and say that it is Honda who are impressing me.

    2018 made it immensely hard to judge Honda’s form, given all the talk of them experimenting with and developing the PUs on the TR. With 3 races under their belt, RBR have shown an impressive turn of pace, and while 3 races in is too early to judge, they’ve had better reliability than Renault.

    Even more interestingly, RBR are not shy about calling out their car woes – they openly admitted a car setup/build issue affected them in Bahrain, Dr. Marko said – after Australia – there’s more to come from the chassis, etc. And they’re quite comfortable with Honda by the looks of it.

    I’m not going to say that RBR are 100% the good guys (because they seemed quite annoying in 2014, but their criticisms of Renault became more justified as the years wore on), but it seems like the RBR-Renault divorce was necessary for them to find better partners, and it seems one of them have succeeded.

  6. This is one race, Dan is a long way off having Nico’s measure and with so much young talent around l doubt Dan will get a quick ride again.

    As for Reno prospects of moving towards the front three, Ric was lapped by Merc and miles away from the RB’s.

    This year is shaping up as a shocker for us Dan fans…

  7. I put money on smoke coming from a RedBull dying on the side of the track by now, Hmpffffff, lost my money,
    I put money on Danny Ric being ahead of his old nemesis Hmpffffff, lost my money ,
    I put money on Ferrari delivering the goods and being top of standings, hmpffffff, lost my money

    i shall stop placing bets on this year hoping for any changes

    1. @greg-c Got any other bets? I’ll make sure to take the opposite!

      1. @robinsonf1

        I was going to bet LeCharles finished outside top 3
        I was going to bet red bull were where McLaren were With Honda
        I was going to bet Seb loses his seat
        I was going to bet on a Renault Renaissance

        1. @greg-c

          Wow, you were thinking of some pretty extreme changes! Did you really think these were going to happen or were they just really good odds?

          1. Have a look at the odds for a Mercedes WCC and Lewis a WDC, if i put a tenner on them and wait a year for the return its not really a good investment, :( Yes, Im hoping for change,

  8. You can’t lead the midfield when you have cars that DNF.

  9. Renault didn’t hire Danny Ric to lead the Midfield. He didn’t join for that role either.
    Last time I checked, apart from sites like this (and an awesome one it is) there are no trophies or awards for winning the Midfield. At some point, and very soon I suspect, the powers that control things in Renault are going to start asking serious questions.
    Where are we going, when will we get there, what is it going to cost and what benefits will we get from it.??
    If any other team in the Midfield starts beating Renault on a regular basis, there will likely be a flurry of CVs circulating in the paddock.
    Just my Bet. Not that I ever win, cause I don’t.

    1. I wonder how much of an effect Ghosn’s sacking has had on the team. He was the one that championed Renault’s return to F1, so his removal may well have had a significant effect on the internal politics at Renault, and on the support for the F1 team within the company.

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