Daniel Ricciardo admits the early signs for his 2020 Renault challenging car are good, but that success to him means drinking champagne out of his sweaty boot to celebrate a race win.
Following the conclusion of the 2018 season, Ricciardo surprised the F1 world when he announced he would be leaving Red Bull for Renault in a deal that would make him the third-highest paid driver on the grid behind Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
The big money move happened, but the desired success didn’t, as Renault’s aspirations to close the gap to the top three teams were hampered by McLaren, who eventually finished fourth.
The Australian has seven race victories to his name, all with Red Bull, and became famous for his ‘shoey’ celebration which saw him take off his racing boot and pour champagne in it to drink.
He says he misses the routine, as it means that he won something.
“But I really miss it, it's a love/hate relationship with my boot. That would certainly make things good. My first impressions on the car were good.
“I think we are going to be better but it's how much better. That's what we've got to prove to ourselves in the first few races.”
Ricciardo reiterates that the feeling is good in the Renault camp currently, and that they are, for the moment, avoiding setting any targets for the 2020 season.
“It's nothing from a position point of view. Obviously I'd love to get a podium and finish as high as possible. But there's nothing like 'If I'm not in the top five, I'm getting out of here'. It's nothing like that. You're going to see things in the team, the morale and spirit,” he explained.
“Just like Mercedes, how much they're willing to innovate and push themselves and be bold, not to be laughed at. It's these little things but right now I'm seeing good signs."
The former Red Bull driver has a new team-mate this season in the form of Esteban Ocon, who replaced Nico Hulkenberg for 2020.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.