Daniel Ricciardo says he needs a bit more “patience and discipline” after “overdriving” his new Renault Formula 1 car at the start of the 2019 season. 

The Australian endured a nightmare race on his Renault debut at the season-opener in Melbourne, having retired after losing his front wing on the first lap as he tried to make up ground from his 12th-place starting position. 

Engine mapping problems thwarted both Renault drivers during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Ricciardo ultimately outpacing his new teammate Nico Hulkenberg despite struggling to match him for much of the weekend. 

Five questions that need answering in F1 2019

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Ricciardo, who will start 10th on the Bahrain grid following a post-qualifying penalty for Haas driver Romain Grosjean, admitted he expected a quicker transition into his new team following his off-season switch from Red Bull. 

“I knew it would take time, but in my heart, I just expected to jump in the car first lap be like sweet, we are going to be good,” Ricciardo said. 

“So coming a step back as far as grip and handling, it is no secret that we are not on the pace of the car I had last year. So that is something I need to figure out again. 

“In Charles [Leclerc’s] situation coming up to his seat this year, it is a bit like me when I came from Toro Rosso to Red Bull. Everything becomes easier, you have more grip, and it is like oh wow the car can do this? 

“So trying to come back down to figure out the best way it is the moment. For yesterday for sure and in Melbourne, that I was over driving the situation. 

“A bit of patience and discipline for me, but that is cool. It is challenging in itself to learn that and figure it out. In a way that is exciting so that is cool.” 

Despite a tricky bedding in period, Ricciardo remains confident that better performances will follow once he has got to grips with Renault’s R.S.19 in the opening few rounds. 

“With the way I’m learning the car the confidence I will get in the car is also going to help the team around me,” he added.

“The more confident I start to feel, the engineer and the way we work, it’s kind of works altogether. 

“Even just the mechanics and all that kind of morale feeling, that working relationship will hopefully start to flourish the more positive my feedback starts to become.

“[After] a few grands prix [it] should be okay.There are already some set up things on the car which I was quite vocal about in testing and already trying to give the team some direction. 

“We will have some new parts on the car to help some of these things I am describing maybe as early as the next race. These things could potentially give me that feeling and a bit of confidence as well. 

“Hopefully Nico tries it and likes it as well and it is better for both of us.”

 

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