Daniel Ricciardo admits that he and his Renault colleagues were left “scratching our heads” at certain points during the season, as they struggled to comprehend just how slow the car became on occasion.
In 2018, the Australian shocked the F1 world when he decided to leave Red Bull in favour of Renault, with the intended consequence being that the French team would once again be in the mix with the top three of Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull, or at least bridge the gap.
That didn’t happen, with a lack of power regularly seeing Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg struggle, which allowed McLaren to emerge as the new ‘best of the rest’ team in fourth.
He says the peaks and troughs of performance left Renault baffled.
"I expected lows, and I think in any team you expect some lows because even if Mercedes is used to winning, then a fourth place is a low for them,” he said post-season.
"The high was kind of in line – a top-five, whatever I knew was there. But the lows at times we were like scratching our heads. Like, 'we shouldn't be this far down'.
"We're not going to be a top-five car maybe every race, but to be running P14 or something, we thought we were done with this.
"So that was where there was a bit more, I guess, head-scratching and the reality of still we've got a lot of work to do."
Ricciardo was used to driving at the front of the grid with Red Bull, and he has revealed some of the differences which take place in the midfield battle, which he described as “fun” to be a part of.
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