Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
46 days
09 May
Next event in
64 days
23 May
Race in
81 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
95 days
13 Jun
Race in
103 days
27 Jun
Race in
116 days
04 Jul
Next event in
120 days
18 Jul
Race in
137 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
151 days
29 Aug
Race in
179 days
05 Sep
Race in
186 days
12 Sep
Race in
193 days
26 Sep
Race in
207 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
211 days
10 Oct
Race in
221 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
236 days
31 Oct
Race in
243 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
263 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
278 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
284 days

Ricciardo: "No hard evidence" Renault is midfield leader

Daniel Ricciardo says he has seen no "hard evidence" yet that Renault has established itself at the front of the chasing pack behind Formula 1's top three teams.

Ricciardo: "No hard evidence" Renault is midfield leader

Renault has set its sight on closing in on the leading trio of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull this year, having finished fourth in the constructors' championship in 2018.

But with early indications from testing suggesting that the midfield pack may actually have closed up this year, Ricciardo says that he cannot be sure yet about where Renault stands.

Asked if he believed Renault could break free from the midfield pack, Ricciardo said: "It is guessing. I would like to think that we are at the front of it, but there is no hard evidence that we are.

"Our objective first and foremost is to be fourth or better in the team, but it is really trying to hone in on the gap to the top three. As you know, it is big so it is not going to happen overnight.

"But absolutely the target this year is to close it in, close it in, and try to develop the car.

"I know last year, speaking to Nico [Hulkenberg] and understanding how the team was last year, and that the rate of development wasn't always as fast as they would have liked, that is another thing this year.

"Just to understand what the car needs but also then to see it start to happen and happen a bit quicker.

"The team is building infrastructure, so it is expanding. They are addressing these things but that will also dictate perhaps how much we can pull away or catch the others."

While believing that the top three teams still have a clear advantage, Ricciardo says it was hard to rule any team behind them as a rival.

"It definitely looks like it is close in that midfield group," he said. "I would assume now that the top three teams still have a bit of a margin on the others, but I don't know.

"If you look at Sainz's time, and even if it is on the softest tyre, it is still a 17.1s. So it is fast. But again because we are not all out at the same time with the same fuel loads, if someone does a time at 10am then by 11am it can be completely different.

"Realistically we are not going to know until qualifying in Melbourne when everyone has the same fuel, same tyres, same track conditions.

"But I would at the moment say that that midfield group looks close. Everyone is able to do a low 1m17s, which is good for you guys I guess. I want to get away from that."

Ricciardo said he was encouraged that no major dramas had come to light during early running with the new RS19, but he was aware that there was room for improvement.

"The car is not doing anything out of the picture at the moment which is positive, we are just trying to clean it all up," he said.

"There are no harsh surprises or anything like that that I am really taken aback from. I know we have got work to do, but it is nothing that I think is unachievable."

 

shares
comments
Vettel says damage making it hard to find crash cause

Previous article

Vettel says damage making it hard to find crash cause

Next article

Why Mercedes could rue a slow start to 2019

Why Mercedes could rue a slow start to 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season Prime

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season

Every Formula 1 team is facing the same difficult decision this season: how do you split precious aero development time between the current car and the all-new 2022 project?

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok Prime

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict.

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact Prime

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact

The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says GP Racing's Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Feb 27, 2021
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021