F1 testing: Daniel Ricciardo can feel Renault engine progress

Daniel Ricciardo feels Renault has definitely made progress with its upgraded Formula 1 power unit following a positive first day of testing at Barcelona

F1 testing: Daniel Ricciardo can feel Renault engine progress

Both the works teams and its customer in Red Bull ran the new system in the post-Spanish Grand Prix test.

Although Ricciardo was only sixth quickest with a lap of 1m24.307s, 1.1s behind Ferrari's pacesetter Sebastian Vettel, he said: "So far we are pretty happy with how it is all looking.

"We will see what they find tonight, but I was pretty happy with today.

"It was all pretty reliable and everything ran as smooth as it could."

Asked if he could feel the progress from Renault, Ricciardo replied: "Yes. I think so. The progress is definitely there.

"Now to make that next step will be...that is the last little step we are after to try and really get on Mercedes, but we are getting closer, and that is obviously exciting.

"Monaco will be our best chance yet. We had a good chance [last] weekend, but for pure speed Monaco should interesting."

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul confirmed to Autosport over the weekend there was only "a very slim chance" the engine would make its race debut around the streets of the principality, with the target the Canadian Grand Prix instead.

But given Red Bull's performance in Spain, with Max Verstappen becoming the youngest race winner in F1 history after Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out on lap one, Ricciardo feels the engine could be of benefit in Monaco.

"We will try to take what we can [for Monaco], but we will see," he said.

"If we can get it, we'd love it, but it is going to be a matter of time for now."

Renault reserve driver Esteban Ocon echoed Ricciardo's optimism after getting his first taste of the new spec power unit.

The Frenchman said he did not push for performance but completed 105 laps without any problems.

When asked by Autosport for his feedback on the new engine, Ocon said: "You'll be surprised, it's really good, really good.

"I can tell it will be quicker. You don't push it 100 per cent in the test, but overall the reliability was good, we didn't have any problems.

"I drove a little only in FP1 [with the old engine] but yeah it [the difference in feel] is noticeable."


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