Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that, although he remains content with how Renault performed at testing in Barcelona over the past two weeks, it is "impossible" to predict how the season will pan out for the French team, or any other team.
The Australian made the shock decision to move from Red Bull to Renault last year, and over the past fortnight he has been getting to grips with not only a new team, but a new car also.
He completed 452 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya in testing, but even though the team had a relatively routine two weeks, he has conceded that he doesn't know how the team will perform in the early stages of the campaign, but expects them to be behind the top three elite teams.
“It’s been a pretty good week and we’ve done a decent amount of laps with some consistent running.” he said.
“It will take some time to catch the front teams but that is not what we expected to happen at winter testing and we are very realistic about that.
“At the same time, it’s impossible to make accurate performance predictions. We still have work to do and things to improve on and that’s what we’ll focus on now.”
Ricciardo knows that Renault, like every other team, only have a short period to work through any testing issues before the first grand prix of the season in Australia, but for him, he just wants to get the racing going.
“We will dissect the data we’ve harnessed over the past days back at the factory," he assured.
"We are making progress but the bigger steps will happen gradually going forward.
“I’m heading to Melbourne feeling that I belong here and I just want to go racing now!”