Daniel Ricciardo says he is “optimistic” about an improved 2020 Formula 1 season for Renault after the team acknowledged where it had gone wrong with its 2019 car design.

Renault was convincingly beaten to fourth spot in the constructors’ championship by McLaren as it failed to build on its 2018 progress and reduce the deficit to the top three teams as hoped.

The French manufacturer struggled to make the same kind of developmental gains as its chief midfield rival and ultimately had to settle with fifth place. But Ricciardo is convinced Renault can make a step forward in 2020 after recognising the flaws of its RS19 challenger.

“I know I like to talk a lot, but I am not one to say: we will do better next year boys if I really don’t think we will,” Ricciardo said.

“I am not just going to massage their shoulders and tell them what they want to hear.

“I know I will get better so that is one variable that I know is going to change for the better. Even that alone I am confident moving into next year.

“But speaking with the aero guys, the philosophy of how we designed the car, and especially the front of the car this year - they are pretty confident that that was not the best way to go.

“Looking at some other teams, to develop the car we can change that and get a lot more out of it as the year goes on.

“With the updates we didn’t really get that much, so we have a bit in hand. We certainly have the resources and the budget to do so. So I’m optimistic.”

Ricciardo stressed the importance of Renault holding onto fifth place in the constructors’ ahead of Toro Rosso, adding it would have been “a punch in the guts” to have missed out on the additional prize money.

“You put the financial loss onto the motivation loss, and we didn’t need that,” he explained.

“So let’s use that as a positive and say all right boys, we dodged bullet, so let’s avoid all bullets next year and fuck some shit up.”

 

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