Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg is of the opinion that the French outfit is not making much progress in Formula One. However, teammate, Daniel Ricciardo disagreed with Hulkenberg’s view on Renault’s progress.
Ahead of the German Grand Prix, Hulkenberg confessed that the team had not made his expected gains in the three seasons that he has raced for them. He was backed up by his ninth position in qualifying, while Ricciardo was bundled out in Q2.
“I think it’s fair to say that so far this season we can’t be entirely happy with what we’ve achieved,” Hulkenberg said.
“To start with, we had a lot of issues and missed out on results, a little bit more disappointing is where we are in terms of performance and development rate, we are not really where we wanted and needed to be, so behind the expectations this year.
“Probably, all in all, as well not entirely happy if you look across the three years, we can’t be entirely happy with what we’ve done.”
However, Daniel Ricciardo preferred to look at the positives in spite of the team falling behind McLaren in the midfield battle.
“I feel I would still be in the same position at Red Bull,” Ricciardo said. “Even though on paper the results are better, whether I am getting podiums or whatever I am getting, it is still getting what I was getting the last few years.
“At least here I have had to work already with new engineers. I’ve learned more about myself, and I’ve tried to get a more difficult car a little bit further up the grid.
“From a personal level, I know I have got more out of myself this year than I would have at Red Bull where I guess I would have kept doing the same thing with same people.”
Admittedly, Daniel Ricciardo still dreams of winning more races, aside from his 7 with Red Bull. However, he wants to add more with Renault within the two years that he has in his contract.
“Current contract, yes. Current year, we all know this year is difficult,” he confessed. “I do still have faith in this project 100 percent.”
Unfortunately, the RS19 has not been particularly cooperative, and Ricciardo admits that there can be chassis improvements.
On the other hand, the Australian was satisfied with the power unit’s progress, but says that he and the team are searching for more.
“[At Red Bull] the chassis would develop fairly quickly but then the power unit was behind. This year the Renault, from the power unit side, I’ve been really happy with the updates and the progress,” he said.
“The chassis, we’ve found a few things since the start of the season but nothing big. For sure as a driver you always want more and until you see yourself at the top of the timesheets you are always going to want more.
“The French upgrade we were definitely expecting more from it and didn’t get as much, so there was a little bit of underachievement feeling through the team.
“I don’t want to sound too nice, but because I personally can’t create a front wing myself or anything… hopefully the next batch of updates we get are a bit more significant.”