Renault lows have 'fuelled the fire' for 2020 - Daniel Ricciardo

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo says the lowest moments endured by Renault have “fuelled the fire” for the team to ensure it makes progress through 2020.

Ricciardo made the switch from Red Bull to a Renault team that aspired to close the gap to Formula 1’s top three teams, having improved from ninth to sixth and then fourth across 2016 to 2018.

But Renault failed to make in-roads on Formula 1’s front-runners and fell behind McLaren, classifying fifth overall, just six points clear of Toro Rosso.

“I expected lows and in any team, you expect some lows,” said Ricciardo.

“Even if Mercedes is used to winning then a fourth place is low for them. So you are always going to get lows through the season.

“The high was in line – a top five I knew was there – but the lows at times we were scratching our heads saying we shouldn’t be this far down.

“We are not going to be a top five car every race, but to be running P14 or something, we thought we were done with this.

“That is where there was a bit more head scratching, and the reality that we still had a lot more work to do.

“The lows actually have been the most fuel for the fire.

“They have actually been… the hindsight of the lows has been very positive – personally wanting to get back to the front, but also from … even the way the team turned those around, I was quite happy with them.

“I don’t feel like they got into a slump, where we were kidding ourselves and this was where we belong. It was no, no, let’s get back to where we belong.”

Ricciardo finished ninth in the Drivers’ Championship.