Daniel Ricciardo says he is “growing in confidence” as he continues to adapt to life at Renault, following a difficult start to the 2019 Formula 1 season.

After making the switch from Red Bull to Renault, Ricciardo managed just one top 10 appearance in the opening five rounds of the campaign, but has gone on to record back-to-back points finishes in Monaco and Canada.

The Australian helped Renault secure its best result of 2019 in Montreal as he finished sixth ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg, enabling the French squad to surge up to fifth place in the constructors’ championship and move within two points of current midfield leaders McLaren heading into its home race at this weekend’s French Grand Prix.

“I know it’s a significant race for them and how much it means to everyone involved,” Ricciardo said.

“The target for France has to be repeating the form of Canada. The team had good pace at Paul Ricard last year, so there’s certainly a good feeling there.

“We have some upgrades, which should mean the start of a trend of our true pace. It’s coming along well and, as the car gets better, I’m also growing in confidence and I’ll keep getting better with it.”

Ricciardo admitted it was a relief to score such a strong result in Canada after enduring a “stressful” period since his arrival at Enstone.

“It was great to see the positivity on everyone’s faces after the race,” he added.

“We entered the season with a lot of expectation on us. I think we’re really starting to come up and show our true pace.

“I’m glad the team enjoyed a strong weekend as it’s been stressful at times, but we kept working and now I’m optimistic this is the start of heading on the right path.

“There’s clearly a lot more work to do to catch up to our expectations, but fighting with the front three for a part of the Canada race was a lot of fun.”

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