Daniel Ricciardo says Ferrari is the only team that has “stood out” from pre-season testing and feels it is “creating a statement” ahead of the new Formula 1 campaign. 

Ferrari has dominated both days of the opening pre-season test in Barcelona so far, with Sebastian Vettel finishing well clear of the field on the first day before new recruit Charles Leclerc topped the times on Tuesday. 

The Italian team is looking to bounce back from successive title defeats at the hands of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton and Ricciardo reckons Ferrari is making a statement of intent by hitting the ground running. 

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“Ferrari have come out strong,” Ricciardo said. 

“They have come out strong the last few seasons and that has been consistent with their performance over the years, so they are going to be there. That is no surprise. 

“Performance and reliability at the moment, they seem to be creating a statement. That is really the only team that has stood out for now. 

“The rest it is so hard to say, even DRS, who is using it and who is not. So, it is tricky to compare at the moment.” 

New Renault signing Ricciardo has been getting to grips with his new surroundings so far this week, with the French manufacturer rotating its drivers throughout each day. 

The Australian managed 44 laps in his first outing for Renault but was restricted to just 28 on Tuesday morning after suffering a dramatic rear wing failure. Ricciardo said Renault is leaving “no stone unturned” in its preparations for the new season. 

“From a competitive feeling, I honestly don’t know yet where we stand,” he explained. 

“But I’d just say so far from a working environment, the debriefs, what we go through with engineers and how many people are coming to me for feedback and from an analysis point of view, it feels like they’re leaving no stone unturned. 

“I feel there’s a lot of attention to detail and a lot of stuff is I would say promising from an ambitious point of view. 

“I don’t feel like, for example, where I was last year, say Red Bull, we did this, this, this and this, and we’re only doing one of these things here. 

“I feel we’re ticking all the boxes from an analysis and trying to get better point of view.”

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