Daniel Ricciardo says he and Renault were left surprised and confused at times by the team’s performances in 2019.
Despite some highs, such as a P4 finish in Monza, it was a largely disappointing season for the team, with them scraping to P5 in the Constructors Championship, having hoped to challenge the big three prior to the start of the season.
“I expected lows, and I think in any team you expect some lows because even if Mercedes is used to winning, then a fourth-place is a low for them,” Ricciardo said as per Motorsport.com.
“The high was kind of inline – a top-five, whatever I knew was there. But the lows at times we were like scratching our heads. Like, ‘we shouldn’t be this far down’.
“We’re not going to be a top-five car maybe every race, but to be running P14 or something, we thought we were done with this.
“So that was where there was a bit more, I guess, head-scratching and the reality of still we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Ricciardo went on to discuss his driving in 2019 specifically, saying he has learnt various lessons from being in a midfield battle that “keeps you on your toes”.
“But I think the biggest thing is understanding how to be perfect,” he added.
“It’s so easy to overdrive and to try to get that extra tenth, and you end up losing a tenth.
“It’s trying to remain composed. You’re always trying to get the most out of the car but I think [it’s] just being more conscious of what a bit of overdriving does.
“Especially with the midfield, the car is obviously not as good as the front guys. So if you do have a slide, I think you lose more time and overheat the tyres and you seem to pay a bigger price.
“Learning when to be sensible and when to try and get a bit more out of it, it’s taught me probably just a bit of discipline over anything else.”