Daniel Ricciardo could be set for another strong showing this weekend at Renault’s home grand prix if comments by teammate Nico Hulkenberg is anything to go by.
Last time out at the Canadian Grand Prix saw Renault record their biggest points haul of the season to date as Ricciardo and Hulkenberg finished in P6 and P7 respectively, splitting the Red Bulls in the process.
They also put in a strong qualifying performance, with Ricciardo in at P4 before managing to hold off the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas for as many as six laps.
Renault promised significant upgrades to the chassis for this weekend’s French Grand Prix to match the harder-run engine which has been in use over the last few races.
And Hulkenberg said he was “pretty optimistic” he and Ricciardo could reproduce their Canadian form as a result of the upgrades when Formula One takes to the Circuit Paul Ricard.
“I think it’s realistic, because so far the car has performed really on every kind of circuit,” he said. “So I think the package is consistent and works pretty much everywhere so far we’ve been.
“We’ve just not got the results because of different mistakes, reasons, technical issues, whatever it was. So, I’m quite optimistic.
“We have to keep this sort of thing going, hopefully take this momentum into the Renault home grand prix.
“The top three teams are pretty well ahead, though one Red Bull we definitely beat on pace and merit. That was good to see. We get some upgrades at Paul Ricard, I’m very excited for those.
“Hopefully they can bring more performance to the car and hopefully we can, maybe, close the gap.”
The result in Canada was the first time this season both cars returned points having failed to score any points whatsoever in three grands prix already.
They only failed to score at all in four races last year as they finished fourth but Hulkenberg believes the team is now over the errors that had cost them so dearly in the opening few rounds.
“I feel the car always had this potential, but just human error, technical error, often we started really far at the back – and on circuits where you can’t overtake, so it was difficult to recover,” he added.
“It is rewarding and satisfying to finally put the car where it belongs and take these points.”