Ricciardo not changing Renault target in 2020 despite tough first season

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Daniel Ricciardo isn't altering his ambitious targets with Renault for 2020 despite a tricky first season.

The Australian had hoped to lead the French manufacturer in closing the gap to the top three teams this year but instead, has watched on as the 2019 car proved unable to regularly fight at the front of the midfield.

Those who were critical of his bold move from Red Bull have been quick to pounce on Renault's struggles, but the 30-year-old was quick to brush off their scepticism.

“Yeah, I knew they would, I knew all this was going to come," he said in Brazil on Thursday.

“But I was very open-minded for the season. Firstly excited to have a fresh start and a change, and I also made the mistake in the past of setting too high expectations and being left disappointed.

“So I more came into this season excited for a new challenge. I didn’t really expect the world from this first season, I expected a lot from myself. I knew it would take time to get the team to where we wanted to go."

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With three top-eight finishes in the past three races, including the P6 before Renault's exclusion in Japan, Ricciardo is confident his original goals can be maintained.

“We’re still not there, but I think the second half of the season we’ve had a little more consistency, that’s been more positive, so I think looking towards what we’re really trying to achieve next year it looks better," he said.

“When I signed with the team 2020 was the target to finish on the podium at least once, we’re still a little bit away from that but I think McLaren are proof in the pudding that you can really make a big difference in one season.

“So with a strong off-season, it’s not impossible for us to have a chance to fight for that next year.

“Ultimately whether it’s champagne or not we want to get closer to the top three and actually be in the fight with those three teams [Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull] more consistently next year.”

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