Daniel Ricciardo believes Renault’s 2019 attempts are not “a million miles off”, but improvements are still needed.
The team were looking to build on their best-of-the-rest status, but 2019 has got off to a woeful start with Ricciardo retiring in his home race, before both he and Nico Hulkenberg retired at the same time late in the Bahrain GP.
Both drivers are also without a Q3 appearance this season, but Ricciardo argues the Renault power unit has made some progress.
“It is early days but so far the power unit has come… not a long way, but it is definitely improved – so that is one big aspect,” Ricciardo told Fox Sports Australia.
“The chassis itself, I was kind of warned a bit prior to driving the car that it did suffer a bit with ride and bumps and curbs – for sure it is an area that can be improved but I don’t think it is a million miles off.
“Already, by the sounds of it, it is quite a bit better from what it was last year, from what Nico says.”
Ricciardo has admitted to “overdriving” the car at times, but hopes a planned upgrade for China will bring a change of fortunes.
“A few upgrades, developments that we will have, one probably in China and maybe another in the next few races, that as well will help bring the car closer,” Ricciardo added.
“That is where lap time is in F1, the rear grip, then to carry the speed in, and that is where for the most part of me driving this car so far, I’m carrying that speed in hoping and expecting that the grip is there and ability then it is not, and I am losing my exits.
“So there are some areas which could help that which we should get soon. I’m optimistic, there is a lot of room for growth.”