Daniel Ricciardo concedes the low points during his first year with Renault came as a shock but wanted to use them as “fuel for the fire” to haul the team back towards the front in Formula 1.

With an increasingly competitive midfield in F1 this season, Renault often found itself out of the points on an off-weekend compared to fighting for top six or seven positions when heading up the pack behind the top three teams.

As a result, the low points in Renault’s season felt exaggerated according to Ricciardo compared to his initial expectations when he joined the French manufacturer from Red Bull last winter.

“I expected lows and in any team, you expect some lows. Even if Mercedes is used to winning then a fourth place is low for them. So you are always going to get lows through the season,” Ricciardo said.

“The high was in line – a top five I knew was there – but the lows at times we were scratching our heads saying we shouldn’t be this far down. We are not going to be a top five car every race, but to be running P14 or something, we thought we were done with this. That is where there was a bit more head scratching, and the reality that we still had a lot more work to do.”

But Ricciardo is confident the tricky moments will act as lessons and ways to improve going into 2020 and the wider F1 shake-up anticipated with the rules overhaul in 2021.

“The lows actually have been the most fuel for the fire. The hindsight of the lows has been very positive – personally wanting to get back to the front, but also from the way the team turned those around, I was quite happy with them,” he said.

“I don’t feel like they got into a slump, where we were kidding ourselves and this was where we belong. It was no, no, let’s get back to where we belong.”

 

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