Ricciardo: Mixed 2019 at Renault 'no more frustrating' than last Red Bull year

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Daniel Ricciardo claims his disappointing first season with Renault was "no more frustrating" than his final year at Red Bull.

The Australian took the big gamble in leaving an established top team to join the French manufacturer, who have made their way up the standings since rejoining as a works team in 2016.

However, after finishing 'best of the rest' last year, the anticipated next jump towards the 'big three' never happened and instead, Renault finished fifth in the Constructors' standings with Ricciardo ninth in the Drivers' Championship.

"Definitely no more frustrating than last year, 2018 was frustrating, that was my most frustrating year I would say," he reflected, speaking on F1's Beyond the Grid podcast.

"It [last year] started so promising and then it just never really got going for the most part after that and I felt like most of the time it was things out of my control and that was the most frustrating.

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"This year, yeah we haven't had great results all the time and we've had a lot of ups and downs again, but I think it was more my expectation of this year was not as high as it would have been last year with Red Bull.

"I didn't really set any 'OK if were not fifth by X race then I'm going to be feeling like this'. I knew it was always going to be work to do so I didn't let the results get the better of me."

There would be some signs of progress towards the end of the year, however, and Ricciardo recalled how one race shaped his approach to the rest of the season.

"Austria was one of our worst weekends of the year," he stated.

"Towards the end of the race, I was out of the points and even with a Safety Car our race wasn’t changing much, so I had a bit of time to think inside the helmet – which you can do!

"I was driving around and I was actually saying, ‘This isn’t fun – this race is not fun for me right now’.

"But instead of being like, ‘This isn’t fun, I want to quit and walk away because this sucks’, it was like, ‘I don’t belong here and I don’t want to be running around 14th, I want to get back to the front and I believe I can and I believe we can be better’.

"It fuelled my motivation," he added. "I was frustrated and angry but it fuelled a lot of positivity.

"Because it just made me want to get back to the front quicker and that hunger was more apparent than ever during that race. It was a good thing."

Still, the next 12 months look set to be very interesting again for Ricciardo with his contract expiring and few indications so far that he'll be signing a renewal.

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