Renault now has "real" F1 qualifying mode - Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo says Renault finally has a "real" qualifying mode in Formula 1 this year, now that its engine is back to full power

Renault now has "real" F1 qualifying mode - Daniel Ricciardo

Renault had to wind back its engine settings in recent races because of reliability concerns, and only since an upgrade was introduced in Spain has it had the confidence to use maximum power again.

Ricciardo used that to give Renault its best grid slot of the 2019 F1 season so far in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying with sixth. Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg starts 11th.

Asked by Autosport about the steps made with the engine, Ricciardo said: "Both Nico and myself complemented the Renault boys for our qualifying mode. It felt pretty strong.

"My reference is from last year, pulling an extra gear before some apexes - so definitely a year on it is a lot better.

"But even from China, that was our last little step, it is getting there.

"We actually have a real qualifying mode this year."

Hulkenberg was equally upbeat about the developments that Renault has made, and especially how well it responded from the conrod failure that hit it in Bahrain.

"They've really reacted very well, Viry, with the problems we had after Bahrain" he said.

"They found solutions very quickly, redesigned, re-engineered, and brought the fixes to the track.

"That was quite impressive, and this weekend you can feel again that the engine has come back to life and we can fight again. So that's very positive."

Asked how the engine compared to last year's, Hulkenberg said: "If we had that engine in the second half of last year we would have had a much easier life and been fourth everywhere easily.

"It's a really big step, serious power there."

With Monaco not being such a power sensitive track, Ricciardo expects even more to come from Renault in the next race in Canada.

"I definitely feel it is the right direction now and the nice thing is that there is still more to come and they see that," he said.

"Reliability is the thing that is going to hold us up from going that step further, but we could squeeze a bit more this weekend even on a low power circuit. You can feel it."

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