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Ricciardo unconcerned by Renault pace: 2019 is a 'fresh start'

Written by  Oct 18, 2018

Daniel Ricciardo has played down Renault's late-season dip in performance insisting 2019 will mark a "fresh start" with new regulations.

The Enstone-based squad has struggled for results since the summer break scoring just 10 points and now their position in fourth in Constructors' Championship is under threat with Haas just eight points behind.

A number of engine issues for Red Bull and Ricciardo have also led to questions over Renault's competitiveness but the Australian insists he was always aware of the challenge that he was facing in making the bold move.

“When I signed I knew there was work ahead and I know they are putting a lot of effort into putting things better and expanding all departments to try to make 2019 stronger and then 2020,” he said in Austin on Thursday.

“The way the last few races have been this year… obviously, it would be nice to see them improve every race but I honestly don’t look too much into it yet.

“I think 2019 is a new car and is going to be a fresh start again so I am not spending too much energy on that at the moment.

“All I can do at the moment is once my year is done is try to be fully immersed in it all and try to help as much as I can to see how things go from there.”

It has emerged that Renault will be producing an all-new engine for next season to try and close the performance gap to their rivals and with Marcin Budkowsky as executive director back at base, the impact of his arrival could be significant.

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As it is, for now, Ricciardo wants to end his five-year stint at Red Bull on a high as he heads to a racetrack he loves at the Circuit of the Americas.

“I think we’ll have a decent car around here,” he said. “It’s weird that I haven’t had any actual podiums [except for wins this year] so yeah, we’ll try to make it happen.

“Last year I was going pretty strong in the race but then we had to stop with some mechanicals.

“It’s definitely a fun track to race on. I enjoy Austin alone, but the circuit as well is really good for racing.

“You can overtake and it’s pretty unique, so I’m happy if it’s kind of wet for Friday and Saturday but I kind of feel if the race is dry Sunday it will still be pretty exciting.”

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