Ricciardo: Renault needs "bigger steps" for podiums in F1 2020

Daniel Ricciardo believes his Renault Formula 1 team will need to make "bigger steps" with its car if it is to reach its target of challenging for podiums in 2020

Ricciardo: Renault needs "bigger steps" for podiums in F1 2020

Renault returned to F1 as a works outfit in 2016 and laid out a five-year plan to return to the front of the field and by 2018 it had emerged as F1's fourth-best team behind the dominant top three.

It had targeted pulling clear of the midfield and closing the gap on F1's top teams in 2019 after signing Ricciardo, but Renault is currently sixth, with several setbacks leaving it with less than half the points of customer team McLaren in fourth.

Ricciardo has maintained he has no regrets about leaving Red Bull for Renault, despite his former team winning races with Renault, but says Renault must make larger steps forward.

"I don't want to say [it's been] in line [with expectations], because obviously, I hoped for more, but I knew it wasn't going to happen like this," Ricciardo said.

"So if I look at Canada, the qualifying, I'd actually say that probably exceeded some expectation in the first few races, but then obviously some other races like Austria, that was lower than our expectations.

"So we bounced around in between everything really, but now at this halfway point, I think we could say, 'alright, we need to do better'.

"If we want to be on target for podiums in 2020, we need to start making bigger steps for the second half of the year.

"Up until now, let's say I'm somewhere in the middle with expectations, but I would now expect the second half of the season to have some more regular - whatever it is - top six finishes."

Renault introduced an upgrade for the French Grand Prix that the manufacturer hoped would lift it clear of the midfield.

But Renault has instead scored just 11 points across Paul Ricard and the four subsequent races.

Asked whether he was expecting the RS19 chassis to be improved over the summer break, Ricciardo said: "I think it can.

"We won't have another, let's say, proper update until well after the summer break, but I would expect some developments.

"We brought some updates in France, they weren't massive, so I think the next batch we bring, I would expect to feel a bit more.

"But, yeah, I'm not down or anything, because again, I would hope that we would be doing better, but I knew that it was going to take some time.

"If we stay where we are now to the end of the season, then that's lower than what we expect."

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