Daniel Ricciardo admits he feared the Japanese Grand Prix would be the “same crap” for Renault after he qualified as low as 16th, but was happy to eventually recover to finish sixth in the race proper.
In qualifying at Suzuka, which took place on the same day as the race, he suffered car issues in the form of a rear suspension failure, in what was the latest in a series of problems this campaign. As a result, he failed to make it out of Q1, which left him thinking it was going to be another long afternoon.
However, he finished sixth in the GP which matched his best result of the season, and hopes Renault can take confidence from the improvement heading into this weekend’s Mexican GP.
“Certainly I was thinking, ‘Same kind of crap,’. And that we can’t really get a break with issues and whatever,” the Australian told FoxSport.
“But I feel like we finally got a result we deserve. We’ve got back-to-backs coming up now, some fun ones.
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“So hopefully we can get a string of points finishes and try to just get something for the team.”
Before the 2019 campaign, Renault had aspirations of closing the gap to the top three, but instead they have dropped behind McLaren as the ‘best of the rest’ team in fourth.
He is determined to gain some momentum before the end of the season so that confidence is high for 2020, though.
“We get there [at the front] and then we drop, kind of the heads drop a bit, and we’re trying to get back up,” he explained.
“For everyone’s sake we need to try to keep some positivity before the year is out.”