Daniel Ricciardo believes that Renault “has a bit more speed than Ferrari” in Formula 1 this year, despite the marque’s subdued start to the campaign.
Renault has taken eighth place at each of the opening three rounds, with Ricciardo following up Esteban Ocon’s result in Austria by repeating the position in Styria and Hungary.
It has left Renault in sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship on 12 points, 15 points and one position behind Ferrari.
Ricciardo finished the Hungarian Grand Prix just two seconds behind sixth-placed Sebastian Vettel, with Racing Point driver Sergio Perez splitting the former team-mates.
“We have had eighth at every race,” said Ricciardo. “Look, obviously eighth is not bad, but I do really feel that we’ve had a bit more speed than an eighth-place car in all three of those races. At least the last two.
“I feel that we are not far from one of those top five, top six finishes.
“I feel that we have a bit more speed than Ferrari at the moment. At least it seems so, the race pace is not too bad. So it is coming.
“It is good to have got the points, but I know there are some bigger ones around the corner.
“It looked like we had a bit more pace than McLaren [in Hungary]. I am not sure where their race went, but we were pretty close to the Racing Point, so not too shabby.”
Ricciardo is optimistic that Renault will be able to show greater potential at the upcoming pair of grands prix at Silverstone.
“Updates are always pretty nice and handy, and Silverstone is one of those tracks, there is some low-speed stuff, but it is pretty flowing with medium- and high-speed corners,” he said.
“[That’s] really where the car is loaded, and where you see the front endplate, those types of corners where it drags and everyone is trying to work on this area of the car to keep some downforce in it and that high-speed role.
“Silverstone will test that and see if these updates can help.”