Daniel Ricciardo feels his first year at Renault hasn’t been representative to his personal place in the Formula 1 pecking order having ended 2019 in ninth place in the drivers’ standings.

After making the move from Red Bull to Renault, Ricciardo had been braced for a step back going from fighting for wins and podiums to battling to be at the head of the F1 midfield.

With the Australian driver finishing his maiden season at Renault in ninth place in the drivers’ world championship, he doesn’t believe it is a representative spot in terms of talent but the situation still brings discontentment.

“Relatively speaking not great, I don’t see myself as the ninth best driver on the grid,” Ricciardo said. “I don’t look into it too much because I believe I am better.

“Do I want to be ninth for the next few years and have the excuse that I am better than ninth but it is what it is? No. I don’t like seeing myself in ninth.”

With comparisons between teammates often a fairer reflection on performances across a season, Ricciardo’s 54 points in 2019 comfortably beat Nico Hulkenberg’s haul of 37 points with the German driver finishing down in 14th in the final standings.

“If Nico had 100 points, then I’d be very disappointed. If Nico had 5 points I’d be like wow an amazing season. I know I have more than Nico 37 so I guess I can’t be disappointed,” Ricciardo explained.

“Relatively speaking I am okay with this season. It was always going to be difficult. Coming into a new team, people have done it before so it is not impossible to do.”

Ricciardo also feels adjusting from one of F1’s current top three teams to a midfield fighter became a trickier challenge than moving to a team higher up the grid.

“I’m having to adapt more than, I’d say Charles [Leclerc], but also for me going from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, and him from Alfa to Ferrari, coming into a car with more grip is normally easier. There are more expectations, but it does more things that you wanted it to do. That is easier than going from Red Bull to here.

“How I adapted to that, I was quite happy, but in a few races, I was not happy with myself, I expected more, but I developed well.”

Esteban Ocon replaces Hulkenberg alongside Ricciardo as his Renault teammate for the 2020 F1 season.

 

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