Daniel Ricciardo says Renault will need to make “bigger steps” with its current package if it is to be in a position to challenge for podiums in 2020.
Renault returned to Formula 1 as a fully-fledged outfit in 2016 with aspirations to be in competition for victories and championships within five years.
Although it finished fourth in last year’s standings, the French manufacture’s aim to bridge the gap to the big three teams hasn’t been met due to a variety of setbacks, leaving the team sixth at the midway point in the season.
Ricciardo joined Renault on a two-year deal believing the Enstone-based squad has the potential for a future title push. After an up-and-down first half to the campaign, the Australian has urged the team to start delivering.
“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, as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“So if I look at Canada, the qualifying, I’d actually say that exceeded probably 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’s form has dwindled since introducing its a significant upgrade in France, scoring just 11 points that leaves it with half of Renault-customer team McLaren’s points tally.
Asked if he expected an improvement in the RS19’s chassis 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.”