Daniel Ricciardo is confident Renault will make improvements after Formula 1’s mid-season break to carry into the 2020 season.
Renault has failed to score in each of the past two races, and Ricciardo says the current four-week break was needed, but that he expects a response from the team during the remainder of this year.
“I think the break’s come at a good time,” Ricciardo said. “As a team we can have some time off, reset… I think we can definitely do better, and I believe we will, so I’m actually happy to have some time off now and I’m very confident for the second half of the season that we can turn it around.
“Whether we close the gap in the points or not, time will tell, but I definitely believe we can have a strong second half of the season and make the things that should have happened earlier… make them happen and then move into 2020 with a lot of momentum.”
Ricciardo insists that he was braced for a long wait for podiums after moving from Red Bull to Renault at the end of last year, but the Australian believes some clear performance gains need to be demonstrated across the final nine races of this season.
“I don’t want to say it has been in line (with expectations) as I had hoped for more,” he said. “But I knew it was not going to happen (instantly), so if I look at Canada qualifying, I actually said that exceeded some expectations in the first few races. But then some other races like Austria were lower than our expectations. So we’ve bounced around in between everything, really. But at this halfway point we could say alright, we need to do better.
“If we want to be on target for podiums in 2020, we need to start making bigger steps for the second half of the year. So up until now I am somewhere in the middle with expectations, but I’d now expect the second half of the season to have some more regular top six finishes.”