Ricciardo picks Belgium as his best for F1 2019, admits low feeling in Bahrain
Renault's Daniel Ricciardo says Belgium GP was his best race of the 2019 F1 season, while he admits of feeling low after Bahrain GP.
The move to Renault for Ricciardo was already under huge scrutiny as the Australian was moving away from a race-winning Red Bull Racing F1 outfit to a manufacturer team which is still finding its position in the championship albeit in the midfield.
But the change was coming for Ricciardo as Red Bull was more becoming a Max Verstappen's team and at Renault, the Australian would have been the leader. He already had low expectation going into the 2019 F1 season, considering the team's position.
He had a decent year but far from ideal if we look at how Red Bull did. From the races he scored points and did well, Ricciardo felt Belgium GP topped the bill, even though he didn't score any points after the opening lap clash at Spa-Francorchamps.
"I won't say the obvious ones, because the results were good but then obviously, Monza, Canada, Spa tops the list," said Ricciardo to media including FormulaRapida.net. "I know everyone will look at me like "Spa? What happened? You were nowhere".
"But it was a race where - and probably the circumstances of that day as well- but I got hit in turn one, we had a lot of floor damage, and, to be honest, the car was quite scary to drive after that. We had a lot less downforce as well.
"I was probably flat through Eau Rouge, less than half a dozen times the whole race, so that gives you, probably an idea of how scary it was through there. I don't know, I just drove with some level of attention and had some form of inspiration that day.
"I ended up being 14th and pn a personal level, that was one of my best drives I felt. Ever. So that's one which no one would expect." While Ricciardo had the highs, there were bound to be lows and he got a shock already in the second race in Bahrain GP.
He retired from the grand prix just after 10 laps, which came after a troubled Australian GP. "I never actually got to the point where I was like "what have I done"," said Ricciardo. "I think at the start of the year, so after Bahrain, I was a bit down.
"Albeit, it was only the second race of the year, but I guess I was more down on my performance, in terms of like, 'Yeah ok, it's not that easy to come in and bring this car up'. I think the reality of me, kind of, reaching my potential in a car that was difficult.
"At times I was like, 'Ok this isn't gonna be as easy as I thought'. But then a couple weeks later, Shanghai, that was a good weekend as best-of-the-rest, so it quickly turned around, but after Bahrain I was like - again, [I] didn't get to a point where I regretted it, or was questioning it, but more on myself, where I was like, 'Can I do this?'.
"Obviously with Nico alongside me as well, that was his experience [was] being in the mid-field pack for a long time, and I could already quite see, I could see that, and I was like 'I can't let him build too much confidence early because it's just gonna get harder for me', so I was aware I had to figure it out quickly."
[Image courtesy: Renault F1 Team] [Note: This story was written by me on FormulaRapida.net]