Daniel Ricciardo says he’s “getting more comfortable” with the Renault F1 Team and believes they are “heading in the right direction” as they prepare for the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix.
Ricciardo returns to the scene of his sensational victory in 2018 on the back of two DNFs from the opening two races of 2019. But following a constructive test in Bahrain, Ricciardo is confident of strong results in the near future.
“I’m certainly getting there in terms of extracting the maximum and getting more comfortable,” said Ricciardo. “These things do take time, but it’s good to iron out these details going forward. We’ll get there soon and sure enough and I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction.
“We showed signs of that over the race weekend, going from a struggle on Friday, followed by an improvement on Saturday to being in and amongst it on Sunday. The car clearly has pace, but for me, it’s about finding all of it. I feel there’s a lot more to come.”
Ricciardo returns to Shanghai a year on from an incredible victory in the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix. The Australian says he was due a good result on a circuit which provides plenty of opportunity to “outdo people on the brakes.”
“Up until last year, China was a circuit I always seemed to go really well at but without taking a podium,” said Ricciardo. “I knew I was due a podium in China and last season that came alive. It was a really good win, coming from sixth on the grid. I probably made one of the overtakes of the year on Valtteri [Bottas] into the tight Turn 6, so that made it even sweeter!
In terms of the track layout, it’s actually quite unique There are long straights, a really tricky Turn 1 and lots of overtaking opportunities. You can pass at Turns 6, 9 and 14 too; there are some decent places to outdo people on the brakes, which is cool.”
Formula 1 will celebrate it’s 1000th race in Shanghai, a “cool city” according to Ricciardo, who also says the “hardcore” fans help create a growing atmosphere.
“Shanghai is a bit of a commute from the circuit, but there are lots of things to do including enjoying some of the cuisine and seeing some sights; it’s a really cool city! The atmosphere there is growing, the fans are quite hardcore with lots of photos you’ve never seen before to sign. They are great people and make a brilliant effort to come out and support.”