Daniel Ricciardo feels expectations on Renault will ramp up next season after enduring a 2019 Formula 1 campaign which has underdelivered.

After switching from Red Bull to Renault over the winter, Ricciardo had braced for a transition period going from regular podium fighter to midfield contender.

But with Renault trying to defend fifth place in the F1 world constructors’ championship after mathematically conceding fourth place to McLaren last time out in Brazil, Ricciardo accepts this year hasn’t been as smooth as initially hoped.

“Firstly, I was excited to have a fresh start and a change. I’ve made the mistake in the past of setting to high an expectation and left disappointed, so I more came into the season excited for something new and a new challenge,” Ricciardo said. “I didn’t really expect the world from this season.

“I expect a lot from myself but I knew it would take time to get the team to where we want it to go. We’re still not there but I think in the second half of the season we have had a bit more consistency. That’s been more positive.

“So looking towards what we are really trying to achieve next year it looks better. We’ll start to expect more – not only from myself but also from the team come 2020. But I think we have learned a lot. Personally I have. The results haven’t always been what we wanted but I definitely don’t see it being a year to forget or anything like that, far from it.”

As a result, Ricciardo is already focusing on reaching the rostrum with Renault in 2020, inspired by both McLaren and Toro Rosso breaking on to the podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix, and wants the French manufacturer to replicate the impressive performance gains the Woking-based team has produced this year.

“When I signed with the team, 2020 was the target to finish on the podium, at least once,” he said. “That’s really the target. We’re still a little bit away from that but McLaren are proof of the pudding that you can really make a big difference in one season, so I think with a strong off-season it’s not impossible for us to have a chance to fight for that.

“I think ultimately whether it’s champagne or not we want to closer to the top three and actually be in the fight with those three teams more consistently next year.”

Ricciardo is joined by Esteban Ocon at Renault in 2020 who replaces Nico Hulkenberg in the team’s driver line-up.

Renault last reached the rostrum as a fully-fledged F1 constructor when Robert Kubica finished in third place at the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix, but has enjoyed success as an engine supplier in the interim with Red Bull winning four consecutive world titles between 2010 and 2013.

 

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