Daniel Ricciardo believes a key point of improvement for Renault is its stability under braking to suit his style as he continues to adapt to the French manufacturer after his winter switch from Red Bull.

The Australian driver has conceded he was disappointed by the early performance and transition he’s made at Renault after ending the opening two races without a points finish, but found breakthroughs at the Chinese Grand Prix with seventh place after holding key talks with his engineering squad during the Bahrain test.

Ricciardo says while general development is vital for Renault he feels improving braking is a high priority given he felt it was a major strength of his during his Red Bull days which he hasn’t been able to fully carry over into 2019.

“The difficult thing was there is so much I could learn and bring from Red Bull, but I need to forget a lot of it because it is a different car and it needs to be tamed a bit differently,” Ricciardo said during the Chinese race weekend.

“In testing and Melbourne I was over-driving, but that was my approach in the Red Bull, carrying in the entry speed and the car has a good rear. But here it is a different approach for now.

“I don’t think my style will necessarily change. I still want to be that aggressive driver on the brakes and all that. But that will come with a bit of confidence. I probably have not yet had that level of confidence on braking as I had last year but that will come.

“For now it is a knife edge in that area. I’ve noticed I’ll lock a wheel here and there that maybe I wouldn’t have last year. I’m trying to figure out where the limit is, I might have to adapt a little bit the way I approach it, but I’m still going to try and go for it. I still want my competitors to fear me.”

The 29-year-old says with a better feeling under braking he can hope for instant gains but also accepts it is a development which will need to “come naturally” as part of Renault’s overall improvements as it aims to bridge the gap to the front-running teams of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

“I’m starting to get some priorities because the more I drive it the more things I’ll come back on, like braking,” he said. “Let’s say feeling confidence, ride, feeling under braking, this is an area that can be improved.

“I can improve what I’m doing with the current car but in general the car can be better in this area.

“The other areas are downforce and these kinds of things which are normal. So that is one thing I’ll probably prioritise for now. But I think things will come naturally.”



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