Daniel Ricciardo admits he is enjoying the Monaco Grand Prix experience a little less this year due to Renault’s the lack of competitiveness compared to his victory a year ago with Red Bull.
Last season, the Australian took pole position and won the race despite a power unit concern, picking up his second win of the year at the time after six races. This time around, Ricciardo goes into the weekend with just one point-scoring finish to his credit and ended up 17th in FP2 on Thursday.
“When you see yourself in 16th or 17th place the smile is maybe a little bit reduced, for sure,” Ricciardo said. “It’s nicer seeing yourself at the top. But forgetting the times, driving around here in an F1 car is still pretty awesome.
“You feel yourself bite down on your back teeth, and it is a lap where you come on the radio to your engineer and describe some of the balance issues, and you feel yourself a little bit out of breath. So it is always fun.”
While Ricciardo admits he is still not performing at his full potential this weekend, he says the car needs improving before he can push it any harder around the Monaco streets.
“It is quite a bumpy circuit and you have to have the confidence to get it on the curbs,” he said. “We can be better in that area, riding the bumps and the warp of the track better. A few things we can do with suspension and that. It should all come a bit easier after we sort that out. Nico (Hulkenberg) and I still have a bit in the bag but [there’s] not a second in us, so we’ve got to find a bit more in the car.
“(Qualifying) is one where you really have to put it all out there. If you crash, then you are at the back and your weekend is done. But you need to be putting everything out there, because every place can really dictate your result more than any other race on the calendar. It is important to put it all together on Saturday. I know how to do that, but we have got a bit more of a challenge this year.”