Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he was not happy with his 2019 Formula 1 campaign, which also marked his début for the Renault F1 Team.
The Australian, who finished ninth in the Championship, felt the season was not an accurate representation of his abilities.
After making the jump from Red Bull Racing to the French outfit, Ricciardo was prepared for the change between fighting for wins and attempting to stay at the front in the midfield battle.
“Relatively speaking not great, I don’t see myself as the ninth-best driver on the grid,” Ricciardo told Crash.net.
“I don’t look into it too much because I believe I am better. Do I want to be ninth for the next few years and have the excuse that I am better than ninth but it is what it is? No. I don’t like seeing myself in ninth.”
A comparison between team-mates is often a true indication of how well, or not, a driver is performing during the course of the season. In Ricciardo’s case, he comfortably beat his team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, bringing home 54 points compared to the German’s 37, which meant he finished in fourteenth place in the driver’s standings.
Despite being deflated at the outcome of last season, he is confident he will be able to bounce back and recover, as others before him have done.
“Relatively speaking I am okay with this season. It was always going to be difficult. Coming into a new team, people have done it before so it is not impossible to do.”
He added that he felt it to be more of a challenge making the move to one of the midfield teams, as opposed to moving to another of the sport’s current top three teams.
“I’m having to adapt more than, I’d say Charles [Leclerc], but also for me going from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, and him from Alfa [Romeo Racing] to [Scuderia] Ferrari, coming into a car with more grip is normally easier. There are more expectations, but it does more things that you wanted it to do. That is easier than going from Red Bull to here.
“How I adapted to that, I was quite happy, but in a few races, I was not happy with myself, I expected more, but I developed well,” he concluded.