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2019 F1

Ricciardo not regretting Renault move

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Daniel Ricciardo insists he does not regret moving to Renault.

The Australian left Red Bull, an undisputed top three team, for the works Renault project.

His ex boss, Dr Helmut Marko, thinks Red Bull’s former engine supplier tricked Ricciardo with data.

“Hand on my heart,” Ricciardo said in Barcelona. “I feel good at Renault.

“It’s too early in the year for me to be disappointed,” he is quoted by the Dutch publication Formule 1.

However, Renault officials are disappointed, as they had made the decision to push harder for performance in 2019. But so far, there are reliability problems and even engine customer McLaren seems faster.

“But when I came here, I knew we wouldn’t be on the podium straight away. I knew it would be a mess and that we would have work to do,” said Ricciardo.

For Barcelona, there are car upgrades but also an early introduction for a new engine specification.

“The engine is still more about reliability instead of power,” Ricciardo said. Technical boss Marcin Budkowski confirms: “Since Nico’s problem in Bahrain, we had to be a little more cautious.”

Ricciardo, though, is not expecting a big shift in the pecking order this weekend.

“Maybe one team finds two tenths and another three or four, but I don’t think it’s going to be eight tenths or a second,” said Ricciardo.

When asked if that is disheartening, Ricciardo said he is feeling “pretty good” even though many are starting to worry about his career.

“Hand on my heart,” Ricciardo repeated. “I am very happy to be sitting here.

“Ok, I wish we were faster, but I’m positive we can pick up the trajectory that we mapped out. It’s a hugely exciting challenge.”

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