Ricciardo believes “set-up misdirection” caused Austria slump

The Australian and teammate Nico Hulkenberg endured a disappointing time at the Red Bull Ring, amid fears that the weekend had exposed a fundamental flaw with Renault’s 2019 challenger.

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But having gone through in detail what happened, Ricciardo says that the team suspects a new direction that was taken with setting up the car may have taken it out of a good operating window – which is why it is reverting to previous settings for this weekend at Silverstone.

“It wasn’t a fun one for us really,” said Ricciardo, reflecting on why neither Renault car had been able to finish in the points in Austria.

“We obviously got pretty deep into it after and tried to figure out why we were off the pace all weekend.

“Definitely I feel we learned some things with set-up and we kind of started in a direction which we kept pursuing from Friday thinking it was the right way to go, but in hindsight it wasn’t.

“So it is probably more just a set-up misdirection we went for, as opposed to anything crazy we found on the car. I was hoping to find a cracked chassis, or something like that.”

Ricciardo said that the changing fortunes of Renault – which had been at the head of the midfield pack in Canada before slipping back at subsequent races – can most likely be explained by its car having a small window in which it operates at its best

“The car does have a little bit of a sweet spot and we have worked towards that the last few weekends, getting those Q3s and building that confidence for myself and that momentum,” he explained.

“But we kind of shifted a little bit away from that in Austria and, for reasons which seem to make sense at the time, from a setup point of view. I think that we kind of moved away from something that we got to know, so will try to bring it back for Silverstone and go back to kind of what we know.”