New Renault Sport Formula 1 Team recruit Daniel Ricciardo says that he wants to bring his own inimitable “energy” into the team for 2019.
After a decade’s association with the Red Bull programme, Ricciardo opted to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing at the end of his fifth season with the team to join the improving Renault squad on a two-year deal.
The Australian partners Nico Hülkenberg in 2019 as the French marque target breaking into the top three of the Constructors’ Championship as its next step.
Speaking at the unveiling of the team’s 2019 challenger, the R.S.19, Ricciardo told of his excitement in the new challenge and his wish to bleed his enthusiasm into the team in order to boost morale and performance on and off-track.
“Renault has a massive history in motorsport, so to be part of the next step of their Formula 1 journey is an exciting challenge,” Ricciardo said.
“I’m here to do a job on track and drive as fast as possible, but I would like to bring the team energy. I want to put a spring in everyone’s step because that’s part of my job and also my character.
“I aim to be able to get the team to work that extra bit harder, put in more effort and rally everyone together. I’d like to be a catalyst for positive energy.”
The 29-year-old suffered a troublesome 2018 despite taking two early season victories in China and Monaco. The wins proved to be the only time Ricciardo would make the podium throughout the season, with eight retirements leaving the Australian a lowly sixth in the Drivers’ Championship 79 points behind team-mate Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo believes that the challenges his faced in 2018 will contribute to a “more mature person” in ’19.
“Everything I learnt in 2018 will make me a better version of myself in 2019,” he added.
“I have more clarity of where I’m going and I aim for that to be shown with good results on track. I feel a lot of positive pressure and expectation to do good things, but that’s something I’m looking forward to taking on.”