With the 2019 season yet to begin, there are many unknown variables. After the opening test, Ferrari were the team to beat. Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo was impressed by the sheer pace of the Ferrari. However, he agreed with a statement made by Charles Leclerc that rival teams could be sandbagging.
“I am very curious to know what Ferrari and Mercedes and those guys are doing,” The Australian said to the media.
“If I had to put money on it, Ferrari have been the most consistent all test. But even after next week we are not going to know until Melbourne.”
The Australian later spoke of his own car and said that in testing, it never runs perfect. He confessed that he has never been in a perfect car in pre-season.
“The first couple of days were slow just getting laps in,” he continued. This was in reference to losing valuable time on Tuesday following his dramatic DRS failure.
“On Wednesday I got more in. I didn’t get in as much on Thursday but it was more the runs we were doing, shorter with more set up changes, so that took more time.
“It was quite useful for me, just going through set-ups,” he continued, “feeling that they actually did something to the car, that was quite positive.”
“When a car is numb and does not respond to changes, that normally is not a good sign. So after these four days it feels pretty positive.”
Hopefully for Ricciardo, he is able to get a fresh start with the French manufacturer. His teammate, Nico Hulkenberg is an excellent driver and very consistent so the two should be evenly matched.
Hulkenberg has finished best of the rest last season behind the Mercedes, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls.