Daniel Ricciardo feels the Renault team has been “ignited” by its strong showing over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend after a sluggish start to the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Ricciardo managed to qualify fourth and finish sixth in Canada, marking his best result since joining the team from Red Bull, with teammate Nico Hulkenberg crossing the line one place behind in P7.

The result came as a welcome boost to Renault after a tough start to the year that had seen it slip as low as eighth in the constructors’ championship after Monaco, with Ricciardo feeling it had invigorated the team members.

“It was important, for sure. I think it had slowly been coming,” Ricciardo said.

“We’d started to put a string of Q3s together. I think we were slowly releasing that weight. But yeah, that kind of, just for the team as well, obviously it gave everyone a bit of a [lift], but it also I feel ignited a pretty nice fire.

“The team had their first taste of a pretty big result in a while, especially the qualifying. I think even just getting a sniff of that was good to see.

“The competitor in me obviously wants that, and that’s always there. Seeing it within the engineers, the mechanics and everyone, everyone just had a buzz about them. It was nice.”

Ricciardo acknowledged Renault was “a bit down” after failing to meet its own expectations in the early part of the year, but the Australian said his confidence was never knocked in the project being built at Enstone.

“I guess I in a way focused continuously on myself, that my speed would come and the team, I knew it would kind of grow naturally over time,” Ricciardo said.

“It’s certainly flourished quite a bit the last few races. It’s nice now, it’s really nice. I’m getting used to it, but the car’s improving, and the whole dynamic is transforming.

“Like all those things, it’s going to be, to get really inside the top five every weekend, that’s then that other step. We’ve made the first step there at least which is not bad after seven races I guess.”

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