Daniel Ricciardo says Renault is feeling a “bit of tension” in its bid to end the 2019 Formula 1 season ahead of Toro Rosso at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The French manufacturer has held fifth place in the constructors’ championship for much of the campaign but is just eight points clear of nearest rivals Toro Rosso heading into the season finale at Yas Marina.

McLaren sealed fourth spot last time out in Brazil and Renault is desperate not to lose any more positions at the end of a disappointing year in which it had targeted to close the gap to the leading three teams.

Speaking about the threat from Toro Rosso, Ricciardo admitted: “There is a bit of tension, I won’t lie, there is a duty to take care of and there is a bit of tension.

“They looked all right [in practice]. I like staying in the fight at the last race. Coming here with nothing, it keeps us on our toes. We have got some work to do but we will be ok.

“We still have a job to do, we have got to stay in front of Toro Rosso. That is the big objective for us this weekend.”

Ricciardo described Renault’s Friday as “not the greatest” after both he and teammate Nico Hulkenberg finished well down the order after struggling for pace over one lap.

Renault appeared to make progress during final practice as Ricciardo ended the session eighth in the timesheets and just a second off the pace.

“I’m not too worried about the long runs,” he explained.

“But if we qualify down the back then it is not going to be enough on Sunday even if we are quicker on long runs. We need to get more pace out of one lap.”

Daniil Kvyat was 12th fastest in FP3 behind Toro Rosso teammate Pierre Gasly (10th) and believes his side needs to maintain the same approach going into qualifying and the race.

“It’s still very tight between everyone,” Kvyat said.  

“Let's not be too greedy. Let's not ask a lot or too much. It's been going well lately, we just need to do similar thing.

“I don't think there's anything to change. Just do our job and see what happens.”

 

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