Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo remains hopeful about his chances with Renault in 2020, despite being one of nine drivers unable to finish the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, who made a bright start from 10th on the grid on Sunday, was forced to retire as a precaution for a suspected “cooling issue” on lap 17.
The 31-year-old had looked capable of scoring points in Austria, after strong results in practice and qualifying suggested Renault had made off-season improvements.
The race was won by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) from pole position, followed by Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Lando Norris (McLaren), as almost half of the 20-car field was forced to retire at the Red Bull Ring.
“Today was a reminder of what Formula 1® can be like and, sometimes, it’s unkind,” Ricciardo said.
“It’s a shame to retire early, but we had a cooling issue and we had to retire the car as a precaution before we did any further damage.
“I think there are a lot of positives from the weekend. Our low-fuel pace looked strong and we know we have a little bit to learn on high fuel.
“We can take a lot from it and it’s good we have another chance next weekend. We’ll learn and move forwards.”
Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon, who started P14, ended the 71-lap race in eighth place, securing Renault’s first points in Austria since the team returned to Formula 1®.
“It was a typical first race of the season with lots of things going on throughout and some possible high reward for anyone completing the race distance,” Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said.
Formula 1® returns to the Red Bull Ring next weekend for the Styrian Grand Prix.
Abiteboul added: “Ahead of next week, we must focus on the main negative of the weekend: the car reliability that not only cut Daniel’s race short but also impacted Esteban’s build-up to qualifying earlier in the weekend compromising his starting position.”