Daniel Ricciardo says Renault can be reassured about the fundamental speed of its R.S.19 after bouncing back from a difficult spell by leading the best-of-the-rest battle during qualifying in Britain.
Renault struggled for pace throughout the weekend in Austria while on Friday at Silverstone Ricciardo was only 14th, with Nico Hulkenberg 15th.
But Renault showed stronger pace on Saturday and Ricciardo and Hulkenberg both made it through to Q3, where the Australian set a time good enough for seventh position.
“The turnaround from Austria is definitely encouraging,” he said.
“We were not very encouraged after Austria. We felt like we had a bit of work to do.
“To bounce back in the space of a week is really good for the team, just to give them the reassurance that the car can certainly work.
“We brought some updates and tried to push them a bit in Austria.
“We probably just went a little bit away from something more conventional and what we had built up.
“Before France we’d built up to some pretty good results. Especially me I started to get quite comfortable with the car, and then updates are good and you welcome them, but they improved the car in some areas and gave us a few unknowns in some others.
“It was not black and white. We tried to run with them again in Austria, and push them to their optimum limit, but the car was not really happy there.
“So we came back on a few things this weekend, and tried to go back to our base and a car that was more familiar to us.
“That is where we’ve been a little bit more comfortable.”
Ricciardo celebrated turning 30 after the Austrian Grand Prix and he joked: “I was overthinking turning 30. I was like s**t, s**t, my last race to be fast. And then I wasn’t fast, and it played mind games with me.
“Then I turned 30 and I said, you know what? If you ain’t first, you are last. And if you ain’t fast, you are on the grass!”