Ricciardo: Renault making progress but still need Ferrari-style surge

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Daniel Ricciardo is confident Renault has been moving in a "strong direction" with their car since the summer break.

The French manufacturer enjoyed competitive outings at Spa and particularly Monza, where they scored their best result of the year in fourth and fifth.

However, consistency has continued to be a problem although Ricciardo thinks that is more down to bad luck than a bad car.

“Since the break, I’ve felt like we’ve got on top of the weekend better," he said in Suzuka.

“We’ve had consistency on different types of tracks but Lap 1 incidents, penalties, this and that, means it has not been that smooth for us.

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“I feel like we are still improving the car a little bit, what we’ve got now is a better understanding of it," the Aussie added.

"So whatever ends up happening this year points, championship and all that, I feel like we’ve got a strong direction on next year.

“Then it is can we produce the car? I think we’ve got a pretty good understanding of what we need for next year, and just some target areas. So I am definitely optimistic we can nail a few of those for the 2020 car."

It was then noted how this season Ferrari always appeared to have a car with potential but it wasn't until an upgrade in Singapore that the performance was unlocked.

Asked if Renault is in a similar situation, Ricciardo replied: “Yeah, it is probably with all of us, all teams.

"I remember it with Red Bull as well, where I felt at the start of the year, it was a bit harder to find it, but then we found answers because the cars are sensitive.

“We are pushing them to the limits and you are always on that fine edge of overdriving it or pushing the aero to eventually the point where it falls over, or the front wing is under that much load that it scrapes on the ground and then loses whatever.

“Everything is kind of on the edge and that does make it tricky.

“Over time you understand how to find the window more, we have got that. It is a bit in the car, a bit in me, like what I like to drive in these cars.”