Daniel Ricciardo ended the first week of testing with some excellent signs.
Daniel Ricciardo ended the first week of testing with some excellent signs.

Ricciardo ‘positive not perfect’ at Renault

Positive, but not perfect.

That's the assessment from Daniel Ricciardo after his first week in the car for new team Renault as he began a fresh chapter in his Formula One career.

The Aussie star ended four days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on a strong note after again posting the third fastest time - his best for the week.

In another sign of speed, Ricciardo's teammate Nico Hulkenberg had the fastest time on the final day - that is before his car came to a stop on track and his last run was cut short.

Three weeks out from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Ricciardo felt he was making inroads with his new machine.

"On the whole, I think (it's been) good enough,'' Ricciardo said.

"It's hard to ask too much in testing as far as it never runs perfect. At least I have never been in a perfect lot of testing pre-season.

"The first couple of days were slow just getting laps in, (day three) got more in. Didn't get as much in this morning (34 laps), but it was more the runs we were doing, they were shorter runs with more set-up changes, so that naturally took a bit more time.

"(Day three) and particularly this morning was quite useful for me, just going through set-ups and feeling like they actually did something to the car. When a car is numb and doesn't respond to changes that normally isn't a good sign. So after this four days it feels pretty positive.''

Ricciardo will have another four days behind the wheel to build on his preparations with his new team ahead of the Albert Park race in next week's second test in Barcelona.


Daniel Ricciardo has plenty to smile about.
Daniel Ricciardo has plenty to smile about.

While he continues to adapt to the car, Ricciardo said he already felt at home within the Renault team after five years with Red Bull Racing.

"It feels cosy,'' Ricciardo said.

"I feel comfortable with everyone. I guess it does feel normal walking into the meeting rooms and the debriefs, it feels familiar.

"The way that everyone is engaging with me has been positive. They are certainly trying to draw as much as they can out of me and I guess to also see if Nico and myself are on the same page.

"I know yesterday the things we talked about were identical and how to improve the car, so I think that's also positive that we're both asking for the same things.''

Ricciardo took some time during the week to tap into the knowledge of the legendary French driver Alain Prost, who is working as an advisor to Renault.


Daniel Ricciardo says he’s feeling very comfortable in his new surrounds.
Daniel Ricciardo says he’s feeling very comfortable in his new surrounds.

"I was in here and I had a little bit of free time and Alain was like 'I'm going to go around the track','' Ricciardo said.

"I was I was like it's probably an excuse to get away for a bit and spend a bit of time with him, that's always useful.''

Ricciardo was confident the DRS failure that caused him to skid off the track earlier in the week would not be a repeat issue.

"It's a hiccup because I had a spin and obviously I lost a bit of track time,'' he said.

"But it's not a hiccup like 'Sh*t guys, you gave me a car that wasn't safe to drive' or anything like that. It's testing, things come off, things break.''