Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Yas Marina, 2019

Ricciardo: Renault didn’t panic after Friday “struggle”

2019 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo was thrilled with Renault’s turnaround in qualifying having languished near the bottom of the times on Friday.

The two Renaults will start seventh and ninth for the final race of the year.

“We were slow,” said Ricciardo. “We certainly put in some work [overnight]. We knew we had work to do.

“We tried not to panic too much. Yesterday afternoon we struggled a lot and it was strange because normally track conditions lower and track gets faster. But We made some changes but found basically less grip. So we basically just worked at it and figured it out.”

He said the team’s performance in qualifying was even better than he expected.

“I still didn’t think [it] would have been as probably good as it was at the end getting both cars in Q3. But it was really, really encouraging for the team to be able to turn it around like that in 24 hours.

“Myself and Nico [Hulkenberg] put in some good laps. We started FP3 already on the front foot and I would just put it down to some good homework.”

Renault hold an eight point lead over Toro Rosso heading into the final race of 2019. They out-qualified both the STR14s, and Ricciardo is optimistic they will have the pace to keep their rivals behind.

“I was surprised we were good [on Friday] on the long run because [on] short runs the car was no good.”

“I’m more confident the long run will be at least as good, but I think it will be better,” he added.

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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...
Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

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