Daniel Ricciardo sealed his best finish in Renault colours last time out with a sixth-place finish in Canada, all after qualifying a spectacular fourth on the grid. The Australian is growing in confidence in the Renault R.S.19 as it all begins to click into place.
How challenging is Circuit Paul Ricard?
We’re coming into Paul Ricard on the back of two non-permanent race tracks in Monaco and Montréal where the walls are tight and there’s little room for error. The risks are a lot lower for France as it’s a very open circuit. It’s maybe a bit tame in comparison, but nevertheless, last year’s race was pretty cool and thrilling so it makes up for it! There are some long, technical corners to get through, which are a challenge. There are plenty of overtaking opportunities around the track to send one, so we’ll be aiming to be in a position to make the most of any chances.
What’s the post-Canada mood?
It was great to see the positivity on everyone’s faces after the race. We entered the season with a lot of expectation on us. I think we’re really starting to come up and show our true pace. I’m glad the team enjoyed a strong weekend as it’s been stressful at times, but we kept working and now I’m optimistic this is the start of heading on the right path. There’s clearly a lot more work to do to catch up to our expectations, but fighting with the front three for a part of the Canada race was a lot of fun.
Are you excited for your first home Grand Prix with the team?
I’m really looking forward to embracing the French atmosphere and hopefully doing the team proud. I know it’s a significant race for them and how much it means to everyone involved. The target for France has to be repeating the form of Canada. The team had good pace at Paul Ricard last year, so there’s certainly a good feeling there. We have some upgrades, which should mean the start of a trend of our true pace. It’s coming along well and, as the car gets better, I’m also growing in confidence and I’ll keep getting better with it.