Daniel Ricciardo is optimistic that Renault has a “strong direction” on its car for next year after making some breakthroughs with its 2019 chassis in recent races.

Renault has struggled to live up to pre-season expectations of cutting the gap to the ‘big three’ teams, currently sitting fifth in the constructors’ championship behind customer team McLaren.

The team has enjoyed an upturn in form since the summer break, scoring points at every race since Spa – something Ricciardo puts down to a better understanding of the R.S.19 car.

“Since the break I’ve felt like we’ve got on top of it better,” Ricciardo said. “We’ve had consistency on different types of tracks.[We’ve had] Lap 1 incidents, penalties, this and that, so it has not been that smooth for us.

“We’ve got little updates here and there, a front wing [at Suzuka], so we are still improving the car a little bit. What we’ve really got now is a better understanding of it since the break we understood a lot more with the car.”

The breakthrough with the car has given Ricciardo confidence Renault can build on its form for 2020, regardless of where it ends up in the final standings this season.

“Whatever ends up happening tins year points, championship and all that, I feel like we’ve got a strong direction on next year,” Ricciardo said.

“Then it is can we produce the car. I think we’ve got a pretty good understanding of what we need for next year, and just some target areas.

“I am definitely optimistic we can nail a few of those for the 2020 car.”