Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that the 'step back' in moving from Red Bull to Renault has been a difficult adjustment for him, and that he is still learning how to adapt to the pace and grip of his new car.
The Aussie made the move from Red Bull to Renault at the end of the 2018 season and though expectations were high, the 29-year-old has been frustrated by two DNFs so far, in Melbourne and Bahrain.
Ricciardo has been quick to note the difference between a perceived step up in car class versus a step backwards, and referenced his own promotion from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in 2014, and also Charles Leclerc's sparkling start to his Ferrari career.
He said: "I knew it would take time, but in my heart, I just expected to jump in the car first lap [and] be [like] sweet, we are going to be good.
“So coming a step back as far as grip and handling, it is no secret that we are not on the pace of the car I had last year. So that is something I need to figure out again.
“In Charles’ situation, it is a bit like me when I came from Toro Rosso to Red Bull. Everything becomes easier, you have more grip, and it is like ‘oh wow the car can do this’?
“So it is a bit of patience and discipline for me, but that is cool. It is challenging in itself to learn that and figure it out.”
Ricciardo was quick to add, however, that he is aware of what the car is capable of, and the more laps he gets under his belt, the more he will be able to extract from it.
He stated: "“I made some comments about the way the car responded, and I was a bit surprised, but he said that is just normal, that is how this car is.
“So I’m trying to learn from his experience with it. The positive for me is that I still know that there is a lot from me to still gain from this car. They way I see it is that it is only going to get better.
“I just hope it happens sooner, but it is going to be a bit of a process. [In] A few grands prix [it] should be okay.”
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