Daniel Ricciardo says he feels “recharged” heading into this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, where he is targeting getting off the mark with new Formula 1 team Renault. 

Having made the switch from Red Bull during the winter, the Australian endured a nightmare grand prix debut with Renault and retired from the season-opener in Melbourne after losing his front wing on the first lap. 

Ricciardo said he would consider changing his preparation methods at his home race in future after being left “drained” by the packed media and promotional schedule he conducted in the build up to first race of the 2019 season. 

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“I’m keen to put Australia to one side, it was a pretty frustrating weekend overall, even more so as the pace was clearly there for a good result,” Ricciardo said. 

“In qualifying, I personally felt I left something out there, which meant our starting spot wasn’t ideal. There’s not too much to say about the race. 

“I quite like the circuit in Bahrain and I hope for an improved weekend. I’ve had a bit of rest and recovery between these two race weekends, so I head there feeling recharged.” 

Renault said it was “disappointed” by its performance in Melbourne after being outscored by midfield rivals Haas and is determined to showcase the progress it has made with its latest power unit. 

After recording a strong seventh-place finish in Australia, Nico Hulkenberg is targeting an even better result in Bahrain.

“On a whole we’re happy to take home a handful of points from the first race,” Hulkenberg added. “It was an up and down kind of weekend. 

“We missed out on some running on Friday and when we hit the track, our short run and long run pace looked quite decent. Without the problem in Q2, we probably would have made Q3. 

“The race was positive after having a good getaway off the line. I raced hard from there, and it was largely a smooth run until the final few laps where it was about getting my head down, elbows out and defending the position. 

“There’s a lot more work we can do to improve. We know that, and we have to keep the developments coming if we’re to edge away from the midfield group. We can be content with our performance in Melbourne, but I’m keen for more in Bahrain.” 

 

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