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Ricciardo confident Renault has cracked the code to high-downforce circuits

Ricciardo confident Renault has cracked the code to high-downforce circuits

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Ricciardo confident Renault has cracked the code to high-downforce circuits

Ricciardo confident Renault has cracked the code to high-downforce circuits

Daniel Ricciardo believes Renault has "the car in a better place" on high-downforce circuits after an unexpectedly strong performance at Mugello.

Renault has often shone on low-downforce circuits this season, a fact highlighted by the consistently strong pace shown by both Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon at Monza.

The French manufacturer has, however, found it more difficult to unlock the pace when running a high-downforce set-up.

But after securing fourth in the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello, Ricciardo is confident answers have been found.

"It is really encouraging," said the Australian. "It gives us confidence coming to other high downforce circuits. It looks like we are getting the car in a better place.

"It is still so close in that pack but on Sundays our race pace is solid. If we qualify towards the front end, it puts us in a good place."

Of the remaining tracks, the only other low downforce venue is Bahrain's 'outer circuit' which, like Mugello, is an unknown quantity as F1 has never raced there.

If Renault has been able to unlock pace with a higher downforce set-up, the already congested midfield could tighten further.

Such was the improvement in pace at Mugello that following the second red-flag restart, Ricciardo was able to pass Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for second, although he would later fall back behind both the Finn and Red Bull driver Alex Albon.

A reflective Ricciardo added: "We might be a little sad that we got so close to a podium but when we sit back and look at the performance, it was a track that we didn't really expect to be particularly competitive on.

"It's a high downforce one, it's one we've not been particularly strong on, like Barcelona [because] they aren't our strength."

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