Formula 1

Plenty to digest for Ricciardo after first test with Renault F1 team

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Daniel Ricciardo - Formula 1 - 2019 Winter Testing
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

New Renault Sport Formula 1 Team signing Daniel Ricciardo said that the first day of official Formula 1 winter testing was all about familiarising himself with his new surroundings.

Ricciardo joined Renault after over a decade with the Red Bull driver programme and five seasons with senior team Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

The Australian started his Renault career with 44 laps in the afternoon session of the first day of winter test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, setting the slowest time of all the eleven runners with a 1 minute 20.983 seconds – 0.003s shy of team-mate Nico Hülkenberg.

Ricciardo said that the day was not about outright performance and more of an acclimatisation task, instead learning about the new-for-2019 R.S.19 and his new team.

“It’s a good feeling to be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car again after a long winter waiting,” Ricciardo said.

“Today was about bedding ourselves back into it and, for me, continuing to learn about a new car and a new team.

“It was a decent afternoon and it’s important we keep increasing our mileage.”

Renault focussed its attentions on set-up work and longer runs on the C2 tyres, the second hardest compound available to the teams in 2019.

The French marque was cautious about making the start of testing, with managing director Cyril Abiteboul suggesting last week that it had overstepped its deadline in signing off the new car. However, the team managed to complete a shakedown of the car with Ricciardo on a filming day on Saturday.

Ricciardo says that there is “plenty” to look at after the first day and awaits his next appearance in the car on Tuesday morning, with Hülkenberg running in the afternoon.

“We have plenty to analyse but it’s been a promising first official day,” Ricciardo added.

“I’m excited to hit the track again and develop this new relationship.”

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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