Daniel Ricciardo feels Renault needs to “take a few steps back” with its car updates for the Spanish Grand Prix after struggling for one-lap pace in practice on Friday.

Renault matched most teams by bringing a raft of updates for its R.S.19 Formula 1 car ahead of this weekend’s race in Barcelona in the hope of bouncing back from a tough start to the season.

However, drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Ricciardo could only finish 14th and 15th in FP2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, leaving the team behind many of its midfield rivals.

Ricciardo explained on Friday evening that his first impressions of the update had been good before getting worse through the day, prompting him to suggest the team should take some steps back in order to go forward.

“I think the one lap performance today wasn’t good enough. The long runs were more competitive, and I think [our rivals] looked relatively quite a lot stronger in the short runs,” Ricciardo said.

“The first run this morning actually, I felt pretty good with the car, and I felt like the updates worked quite well. Then we hit a little bit of stalemate I guess and we didn’t really progress that much more through the day.

“I think we’ve got to go back and see what we change from the first run, and take a few steps back and figure it out.

“I certainly felt some positives today, even though the end result doesn’t look like that.

“The car is certainly better in areas. We’ve just got to make sure we put it together on one lap in particular tomorrow. That’s where we struggled today with the qualifying type of sim.”

Asked about his expectations for qualifying on Saturday, Ricciardo said he still thought a place in Q3 was within Renault’s reach.

“I think we can still be in Q3. I think we were 15th today, so we’re not close today, but I really think the car is good enough to be in Q3,” Ricciardo said.

“I’m still confident we can get it right for tomorrow.”


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