Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Monaco, 2019

Ricciardo and Key praise Renault engine gains

2019 Monaco Grand Prix

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Renault has made its biggest performance step yet with its Formula 1 power unit, McLaren technical director James Key believes.

Key joined McLaren from Toro Rosso, who used Renault’s V6 hybrid turbos in all bar one of the last five seasons. He said he is impressed with Renault’s progress during the off-season.

“I have to say they’ve made some really good steps forward this year with their engine,” he said. “It’s been the best I’ve ever seen Renault at in terms of their performance step.

“You can see that in the data as well which is very encouraging. And I think since I worked with them last they’ve grown in confidence. So it’s a pleasure to work with them again.”

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo said the team has made clear progress with its qualifying performance modes, an area where the team previously lagged behind the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari. Ricciardo and team mate Nico Hulkenberg complimented the team on the gains they had made after qualifying in Monaco.

“Our quali mode was, I felt, pretty strong,” he said. “My reference from last year, obviously, I’m pulling an extra gear before some apexes and stuff like that. And so definitely a year on it’s a lot better.

“I think even from China, which was our last little step, it’s getting there. We actually have a real qualifying mode this year.”

Renault had to address a reliability problem with its power unit at the beginning of the season and Ricciardo feels this may restrict how quickly they can unlock more performance from their design.

“I definitely feel like it’s in the right direction now. The nice thing is there’s still more to come and they see that.

“But it’s just getting the reliability is what’s going to hold us up from going that step further. We could squeeze a bit more [in Monaco], even on a low-power circuit you could feel it come to fruition. So some little positives.”

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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
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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  • 12 comments on “Ricciardo and Key praise Renault engine gains”

    1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
      2nd June 2019, 8:42

      McLaren definitely seems to be on the right path. They are best of the rest in terms of points and it isn’t even close. They seem to have good race pace and also good strategy. The engine seems to have improved as well. A long way to go to catch the front runners though.

    2. Renault has made good progress with the power plant and now have enough to challenge Ferrari. But I think the chassis still has a way to go, not to far though. Renault have spent a lot of $ building and upgrading their facilities. It looks like Renault are keeping their word to Ricciardo about their commitment to winning.

    3. Cant believe RIC gave up Honda power and Red Bull. I may never understand that move.

      1. This time last year people were far more pessimistic about the ability of a Honda powered car to get a podium place in a race, let alone actually win a race. So it was understandable that Daniel would choose to go with another team, especially after that incident where both cars collided and crashed out of the race. I was surprised that he got a seat with Renault because it looked like both Mercedes and Ferrari had arranged their second driver contracts so as to make a space for him. Anyway, for whatever reason, they didn’t want him so he went to Renault.

        1. Yes, ok, but personally if I own an airplane and can swap it with 2 others of a different type, I’m not going to go for a helicopter should those other 2 planes not be available (ferrari, mercedes, red bull were a step above everyone else last year and for the last few years, this year mercedes is even higher, but renault is nowhere still).

        2. We shall see how Ricciardo’s decision works out during the latter half of this season. Renault have already had their share of technical issues, Bahrain comes to mind.

          Honda’s actual reliability, I fear, will show it’s real face during the latter half of the season. I predict that there will be so many penalties for Red Bull and Toro Rosso, their drivers will not bother coming to the track on race weekend in Singapore and onwards.

      2. Cant believe RIC gave up Honda power

        I can’t believe any team would even want Honda power.

        1. @todfod
          Gotta appreciate the oxymoron, though … (scnr)

        2. @todfod
          Gotta appreciate the [singular of ‘oxymora’, which happens to share most of its spelling as well as an etymological root with a derogatory term for an intellectually deficient person, which, in turn, happens to trigger the notoriously over-zealous wordfilter], though … (scnr)

          Artificial intelligence has a way to ruin even mediocre jokes. :(

    4. After listening to the Alan Jones episode of “Beyond the Grid” excellent btw), he thought Ricciardo made a smart move, and I agree. At the end of the day, you’re left with the money, and he took on a huge salary boost compared to Red Bull. Who’s going to look out for him, but himself? Danny is also in a good position if Renault have a huge performance increase, which, I’m not confident about, but how many other works drives are there available?

      1. Maybe he did but take Alonso who in the same ship, He is rich but he want to race for the World title (or just a win) and that didn’t happen . what Lewis did was a risk but Mercedes had the best engine and good people.

    Comments are closed.